OGDEN -- Pets found homes and pet-lovers found new companions Saturday at Newgate Mall.
The Best Friends Animal Society and No More Homeless Pets Utah sponsored a pet adoption from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. that featured about 40 cats, 20 dogs and plenty of animal-lovers from all over the Top of Utah.
Representatives from the Humane Society of Northern Utah and Utah Black Dog Walk were also in attendance.
"There sure are a lot to choose from," said Jeremy Bagby, a Layton resident who took home a cat named Marcel. "I think if I had the room, I would take them all home with me."
Cats were available for a $5 adoption fee, while dogs were available for $50. The fees included vaccinations and a microchip.
Melissa Lipani, with Best Friends, said the adoption fees at the Saturday event were much lower than normal because spring is the time of year when animal shelters start filling up.
"Spring is a notorious time for shelter groups to get inundated with animals," she said, "so this is the time of year we really try to step up our efforts and get our animals seen and get them adopted into good homes."
Many of the animals were on a 48-hour euthanasia list, which means many of the adopters probably saved some lives.
Bagby said Marcel was on that list and he was glad he could give the cat a second chance at life.
"Just about two months ago, I had to put down my cat Shortie," Bagby said. "That was pretty hard for a cat-lover like me, but I am glad that I probably saved this cat's life."
Brother and sister Andrew and Emma Gunn, along with their grandmother Renee Gunn, picked up a cat named May.
But the trio said that name will likely change once the cat settles into its new home.
"I think we're going to name it April or Ruby," Emma said. "Probably April, because that will be the month we got her."
Andrew said he and his sister already own a cat, but are happy to welcome one more feline into the fold.
"I love cats," he said.
The animal groups also are promoting a free program to spay and neuter pets. The program is open to all qualifying Weber County residents. More information and applications for the program can be found at utahpets.org.
The program is funded by a grant from PetSmart Inc.
Lipani said PetSmart has already given $100,000 for the program, but a specific goal has to be met for the second $100,000 to be issued.
"We really need people to come in and get their pets fixed," she said. "We need to have a certain number of surgeries completed before the second part of the grant kicks in."
Best Friends will hold another adoption event on the weekend of April 29 at the PetSmart at 389 W. 1830 South in Salt Lake City.
Lipani said that adoption event will feature more than 800 pets.