SOUTH OGDEN -- The lobby of Young Subaru was overrun with dogs Saturday as the dealership hosted a huge pet adoption session.
The event was hosted by South Ogden city officials and animal rescue groups from all over the county, mirroring the regular weekend adoptions they run at local pet stores.
But this was much larger, beginning at noon with about 100 dogs and 20 cats available to be "re-homed." All had been separated from their owners, either unceremoniously dumped to be picked up on the street by animal control, or surrendered by owners to shelters.
As of 2 p.m., about 50 of the dogs had found new homes, organizers said, talking as the myriad dogs strained at their leashes, greeting everyone, excitedly leaping about, barking and playing in the crowded lobby.
Two veterinary technician students who had planned to put on a canine tooth-cleaning seminar said the place was too crowded.
"There's too many people," said Nicole Nye, of Broadview University.
In contrast, obviously more aloof cats declined to "audition," lounging in their cages, oblivious.
Also on hand were celebrities -- three Chihuahua-mix dogs among 149 taken from the home of an Ogden man overwhelmed in his efforts to care for them.
Miguel Salgado had the dogs removed from his home on the 30th Street block of Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19. The rescue effort, spearheaded by Pack 'N Pounce, 333 2nd St., has grown to include Salgado, who let his electric bill lapse to feed the animals.
Brenda Gordon, Pack 'N Pounce's director, was on hand Saturday, and three of Salgado's dogs were among 15 available from her rescue agency.
Salgado's home has been declared uninhabitable by health officials, and Gordon has led the efforts to take care of the 60-year-old. "We took him a table and some chairs today," she said.
A contractor has volunteered his time to kill the mold and restore Salgado's home while he stays in a donated apartment, she said.
The publicity from the "149 dogs story" has flooded her agency with calls, Gordon said.
Normally, she said, she has 10 to 15 people willing to foster rescued pets.
"Now we've got 10 pages of names of people who want to foster," she said. "Literally hundreds."
South Ogden's Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter, was calling Saturday's adoption event at Young Subaru a success early on.
"The turnout is amazing," said Karen Disney, shelter supervisor.
"There goes our affenpinscher," said Sandy Bearce, one of Disney's staffers, counting their 19th dog placed with a new owner at Saturday's adoption-fest. All 19 were small breeds.
The Weber Animal Shelter was hopeful for one of its large-breed dogs, a 10-month-old black Labrador female named Courtney. The girls from Broadview were squiring her around, a favorite among the staff at the shelter.
Black dogs aren't as easily placed, organizers said, because of superstition. That's where Black Dog Walk comes in, an animal rescue group that emphasizes black dogs.
"They get overlooked," agreed Barabara Milbrun and Mary Kapp, of Black Dog Walk.
"Sometimes I think we need to pound on people's doors," Kapp said. "We're coming in because you need this dog."
Blackdogwalk.org is devoted to fighting "breed-specific discrimination" they call a syndrome.