Fresno State staff member Andrea Cortes holds Ralphie, a 3-year-old male Terrier, after being adopted at Paws for a Cause, held in the Rose Garden, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Ralphie was the first of six animals to be adopted at the event. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Stray animals find “forever homes”

Helping find “forever homes” for stray animals, the Fresno State Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted Paws For a Cause Wednesday on campus.

PRSSA invited the SPCA to campus to help with adoptions and collect donations such as pet food, toys, collars, leashes, money, clean towels and clean blankets. Students crowded around puppies, cats, kittens and dogs as they watched them play and cry for attention.

Marissa Tatro, vice president of PRSSA, explained why it wanted to bring the SPCA to Fresno State.  

“As a club, we wanted to do something that was fun for students,” Tatro said. “But we also wanted to educate them because we wanted to do something that both benefitted an organization and benefitted students,” Tatro said.

Adopting of a dog at the SPCA costs $180 and a cat costs $80. This includes the animal being spayed or neutered, its first set of shots and a microchip. If an animal dies of an illness, a refund or new adoption is available. A puppy must weigh two pounds or be two months old before it can be taken home from the shelter for the safety of the animal. If potential owners are unsure of adoption, they can become foster owners to an animal.

Annette Nyockey, adoption services offsite coordinator for the SPCA enjoys working with animals and helping find them “forever homes.”

Nyockey said the SPCA will put animals down if they are aggressive; but it does not put down animals for the sake of space. If space is limited, it takes those animals to a no-kill shelter.

“[At] last year’s event, we raised quite a bit of money for them, and two dogs were adopted,” Tarto said. “At this year’s event, two puppies were adopted in the first two hours and we actually just had a cat adopted.”

“My biggest joy is seeing students excited about the puppies, excited to volunteer, excited to get involved,” she added. “I think that’s the best thing out of it, and I also love every time we get a cat or a puppy adopted. It’s the best because you know that you and the student that adopted it helped save a life.”

Marielle Marlowe, a science livestock business management student, went to the event to look at cats and shared her desire to adopt and her thoughts on people adopting animals.

“I debate it, like I really want to take one home,” Marlowe said. “I would just consider that people need to be serious when they adopt an animal, because that’s why we have this whole problem of abandoned animals.”

Tatro shared that some people have a preconceived notion of stray dogs: that they are broken.

“These dogs aren’t broken,” she said. “They just need a loving home.”