SAUGUS — Most people go to York Ford in Saugus to purchase a new car, not to adopt a puppy.
That changed as the 13-week-old Labrador climbed into the arms of Michelle Smith, who would be taking him home from York Ford showroom’s adoption drive hosted by Last Hope K9 (LHK9) Rescue.
The light colored pooch with big paws and a bigger head climbed in and out of Smith’s arms, absorbed by the love and attention.
“My sister adopted a dog from Last Hope K9 and she couldn’t have had a better experience,” Smith said.
Last Hope K9 Rescue is a volunteer-run and foster-based non-profit organization dedicated to saving abandoned, neglected, and/or abused dogs from high-kill shelters throughout the United States. Since establishing the organization in early 2012, they have saved the lives of more than 5,400 dogs by finding them homes, according to their website.
A total of 10 dogs were brought to the showroom by volunteer foster parents from the organization.
“That’s why events like these where we get to go out into the community are important, so we can not only create awareness but also find these dogs an owner,” said volunteer Ed Marshall.
The rescue group tries to find as many foster parents as they can for the dogs.
He said without the help of foster parents and North Shore Dogs in Danvers, who houses many of the rescues, they are able to support the animals and give them another chance.
Diane Allen, who works at York Ford, organized the event. She said that this is one of the first events their company has had with community and it is for a good cause.
“Our biggest goal today is to find some of these dogs a home,” she said.
The cause is something that’s close to Allen, who has a rescue dog of her own from Northeast Animal Shelter.
Chloe, a terrier mix, was rescued from Puerto Rico, Allen said. When she got her, Chloe was missing patches of hair and had cigarette burns across her body, she said.
One thing that can help the dogs who’ve seen rough times is adoption.
“There are so many dogs out there that have been abused,” Allen said. “They don’t know love until they see it.”
Although there were only 10 dogs trotting around the showroom, LHK9 brought an electronic binder that had more than 100 dogs available for adoption. They can also be viewed online at their website.
LHK9 has a goal of finding homes for about 100 dogs every month and usually hits the target, Marshall said.
Thankfully, Smith got to the showroom right at noon when the event started and was able to put the payment on Kapow before anybody else could.
“I got this dog for every reason,” she said. “There are just so many out there that need a home.