Wagging tails and smiling faces filled the halls and rooms of the Nebraska Humane Society on Sunday afternoon with about six times the usual number of dogs for adoption.
For three hours, visitors got a look at a broad range of breeds thanks to 25 regional rescue groups that brought in dogs.
About 250 visiting dogs, from Doberman pinschers to Boston terriers and from Chihuahuas to golden retrievers were on display during the Taylor Made Rescue Rally.
Denise Gurss, director of behavior at the Nebraska Humane Society, said the rescue event has been held for more than a decade.
“It’s huge that our shelter works with so many rescues,” she said.
Gurss estimated about 600 people attended the event.
Although people couldn’t adopt a furry friend Sunday — that would come later — the event gave those caring for the rescued dogs a chance to show potential adopters the breeds available. Prospective dog owners also could learn the best breed for their lifestyle.
Molly Gonring of Omaha is planning on getting a dog in a month or two.
“I love labs and I visit the Humane Society probably too often, but I really want to rescue a dog,” Gonring said.
The adoption process from rescue shelters varies. Typically, though, it includes an application, background check and home visit.
“My whole family has been wanting to get a dog, so we are very interested in rescuing one,” Sue O’Hara of Bellevue said.
Lisa McCool of Omaha, who helps with Nebraska Dachshund Rescue, has fostered 25 dogs for the group in the past three years. At first it was hard to let them go to their new homes, she said, but she decided she would rather save multiple dogs than just one.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” McCool said. “It’s the first step in finding their forever home.”
Megan and Matt Starks already have two dogs, but said they can’t have too many.
“We might get another, but we always come to look at the variety,” Megan Starks said.
Most of the dogs that are rescued come from abused homes or puppy mills.
“It’s the first time the dog feels true love,” McCool said.
The Sunday event was free to all, rescue groups and visitors.
“We’re all here for the animals,” Gurss said.