BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Crowds of people returning to Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa for the 11th annual PetAPalooza, a major local pet adoption effort.

“We’re so excited to have everybody back. With everything going on with COVID, we really missed all the shelters, the staff and the animals,” said Jennifer Stickney, the event’s organizer.

Over two dozen local animal shelters and rescues were present, giving their animals a chance to meet their potential future family.

“You can actually come on in, sit down on one of our benches and actually interact with a cat like you regularly would at the shelter,” Karli Russell, the Public Relations Coordinator for Saratoga County Animal Shelter, explained.

A wide variety of pets were available for adoption, including dogs, cats and rabbits.

“It’s really nice to come out here and bring awareness to rabbits. They’re the third most abandoned pet behind cats and dogs, and they really make great pets,” Karen Sakolish, an intake team member for Hop on Home said.

Even vendors not offering adoption showed their support. Benson’s Pet Center providing anyone who adopted a free bag of food, to help a new family and pet get off on the right paw.

“This is a great event to get a lot of cats and dogs adopted. People have had to make appointments to go into shelters, it hasn’t been really like the best way to get pets. So this is an awesome way, they can come, meet the pets, see different rescue groups and engage with the community,” said Moira Nowc, the general manager.

A community effort to help some of our four-legged friends, encouraging anyone interested in getting a pet to adopt.

“They make your life so much better. They get you out, dogs get you out with walking and exercising, cats just give you that companionship,” Russell said.

Especially as the return towards normalcy continues impacting pets across the country.

“A lot of those animals that did get adopted during COVID, people are going back to work and we are seeing some of those animals come back to the shelters unfortunately. So again today, it gives those animals a second chance to find their forever home,” Stickney said.

Curtis Lumber locations across Upstate New York, as well as their Vermont location, also hosted PetAPalooza events Saturday.