Pet adoptions far exceed goal at Jacksonville Fairgrounds –

The puppies went first, and by Sunday afternoon, almost all the dogs were gone. Of course, there were still cats and a few rabbits.

The big pet adoption weekend drew to a close Sunday afternoon at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds. Put on by First Coast No More Homeless Pets with about a dozen groups bringing in animals for adoption, the goal of the three-day event was to find homes for 600 animals.

That goal was passed easily, then 700, then 800, then 900 …

By the time it closed, at least 918 pets had new homes, although a final count Monday is expected to be higher, according to Dianne Wiles of First Coast No More Homeless Pets.

Even as the available pets dwindled, more people poured through the doors.

The McCarter family came up from Middleburg looking for a dog, but there were few left. So 11-year-old Donnie and 14-year-old Cierra found their way to the rabbits.

They picked the gray one. But Dad wasn’t so sure.

“They’re not the ones who’ll clean that cage,” said Don McCarter. “I had rabbit years ago. Oh, man.

“What they need,” he said, rolling his eyes toward the kids, “is a goldfish. But when does Dad ever win an argument?”

Joe and Caroline Corrado were so certain they were going to find a cat, they brought their carrier with them.

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