Hundreds of dogs and cats found their way into new homes on Sunday at the third annual Mega Adoption Event at the Kern County Fairgrounds.

Put on by the Make Kern No-Kill Coalition, which is an alliance between 15 shelters and rescue groups in Kern County, the event helped showcase some of the more longer-tenured animals at the shelters and rescues and finally find them permanent homes.

"We want to bring awareness to the plight of homeless animals in Kern County and to engage the public in adopting from rescues and shelters," said Sally Breyer, deputy director of Kern County Animal Services.

The number of animals that were available to be adopted reached triple digits this year, with almost half of them coming from KCSA.

The number of animals that were adopted quickly rose as the day went on. However, a noticeable trend as time passed was that the smaller dogs and cats were quickly taken, leaving many large dogs behind.

Nick Riddick, the animal control manager for the Shafter Police Department helped the Shafter Animal Shelter bring 11 dogs to the event, all of them longtime residents at the shelter.

The event helps out smaller shelters like Shafter find homes quicker for animals since they are limited in space and don't have the high amounts of adoptions larger shelters and rescues have.

While half their group found homes a couple hours in, there were still a group of larger dogs waiting to be adopted.

"A lot of times when you have dogs up for adoption, the small, cute dogs tend to go first even in the shelters," said Riddick. "This is a great opportunity to showcase larger breed dogs and show that they have a need for being adopted."

Riddick added that some misconceptions people have for adopting larger dogs include their higher costs for food and maintenance and that they are too dangerous to be a first-time dog. 

"A lot of the animals here we've had at the shelter for a little bit of time and we didn't want to put our "A" dogs first, we wanted to give the dogs that have been with us a fair chance to get that exposure that was needed for adoption," said Riddick.

Along with the adoptions and awareness, there was other fun for pets and pet owners alike to enjoy. Many booths scattered the area promoting pet products and services along with other local businesses and radio stations promoting the event.

There were even refreshment booths for both humans and pets. The pets got to enjoy "Puppuccinos" which is whipped cream in a cup, which was "highly successful" according to Breyer.

There were also contests for pets, which included best pet trick, best dressed pet, ugliest pet and best pet and owner duo.

The most important part of the event was the adoptions, however, which gave these animals a new chance at life and prevented them from being euthanized, which is the main goal of the coalition and the event.

Josh Bennett can be reached at 661-395-7393. Follow him on Twitter: @JHB4th.

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