Find your new best pet friend at ‘Free Adoption Day’ event presented by Pasadena Humane


Ziggy, now a one-year-old cat, was adopted in 2021 during a fee-waived adoption event at Pasadena Humane.

When Pat first met her handsome tuxedo kitten, Ziggy, at one of our fee-waived adoption events, it was “meow at first sight.” Ziggy, now a one-year-old cat, is best buddies with Pat’s Havanese, Penelope, also a Pasadena Humane alum. “Both are my precious babies,” Pat shared.

Pat decided to make the hour and a half drive to our fee-waived adoption event from her Lake Arrowhead home because she was inspired to help us clear the shelter. She left her home very early in the morning to be the first in line. She’d had cats all her life and was ready to bring another one home.

Every year, Pasadena Humane, and many other shelters around the country, host fee-waived or reduced-fee adoption promotions to help pets like Ziggy find loving homes. Fee-waived adoption events are one of the most effective tools for raising awareness and finding adopters for pets in need.

This is especially true during the summer months when shelters are filled to the brim with adoptable dogs, cats and critters. Large-scale adoption events are critical for quickly finding homes for many pets in a single day, helping to create the necessary space for incoming animals.

Our June 2022 Free Adoption Day was a perfect example of the impact a single adoption event can have on shelter space. In just four hours, we found homes for 68 pets, practically emptying our Neely Cat Center and opening a dozen kennels for incoming dogs.

I admit, like many of the community members who contact us with concerns about these events, free adoptions used to give me pause. I was worried we might attract people who wanted animals for malicious reasons or who couldn’t provide pets with proper care.

But what I’ve seen firsthand at these events has genuinely changed my mind and eased my fears. Many people have already been thinking about adopting. Seeing a free event on the news or social media inspires them to action. Others want to help animals in need when they learn how full the shelter is, much like Ziggy’s adopter, Pat.

Research is reassuring, too. A peer-reviewed study conducted by the ASPCA proved that the amount paid for a pet had no relationship to how the adopter valued their pet.

Another study led by Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida found that 93% of dogs and 95% of cats adopted during a fee-waived adoption event were still in their homes one year later. Most of those pets lived predominantly indoors, slept in bed with a family member, and had been to a veterinarian.

When we have reduced-fee or fee-waived adoptions promotions at Pasadena Humane, our process and commitment to the animals remains the same. Our adoption counselors work with each prospective pet parent to find a dog, cat or critter that matches their lifestyle.

Our regular adoption questionnaire is used and all normal procedures apply. Dogs, cats and rabbits are spayed/neutered and microchipped before they go home, and animals are up to date on species-appropriate vaccines.

Our next Free Adoption Event is Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and I encourage you stop by. It’ll be a hot one, so we recommend you arrive early, wear sunblock and a hat and bring plenty of water. 361 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. 626-792-7151.

Get a head start by viewing adoptable pets at

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on July 15, 2022.