Hundreds of people lined up at five metro Animal Humane Society shelters to adopt dogs seized in July from wretched conditions at a Pine River, Minn., breeding facility.
"It's been going real well, and everybody's been happy, and it's been very emotional," said Jeff Moravec, a Minnesota AHS spokesman who was at the Golden Valley shelter on Saturday afternoon. "There are a lot of people here who have fostered those dogs and cared for them and are watching them go to their new homes."
About 75 puppies and 65 dogs were up for adoption this weekend, and more will be available in coming days, according to the Humane Society. At least 83 of the dogs had been adopted by late afternoon, amid smiles and petting.
Prospective owners swarmed kennels inside the Golden Valley shelter to see the dogs. In Woodbury, about 30 people had lined up waiting for doors to open at 10 a.m. Shelters in Coon Rapids, St. Paul and Buffalo also are adopting out the dogs and pups.
Authorities seized 29 puppies and 104 grown dogs. A number of the dogs were pregnant, leading to about 70 more puppies born in shelters. That means roughly 200 pups and dogs were among those up for adoption Saturday and in coming days, Moravec said.
Some are still receiving medical care before they can be adopted, he added.
The breeds include golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Alaskan huskies, cocker spaniels and several smaller breeds.
The dogs pose potential problems for their new owners because they had lacked socialization and medical care.
The Humane Society staff informed visitors that medical issues could include dental disease, loose kneecaps and ear infections. Many need to be house-trained.
Those caveats didn't stop kids and adults alike from wanting to adopt.
In Golden Valley, young siblings Zachary and Kaitlyn Cantazaro and their dad, Anthony, of Chaska, joyfully adopted Chichi, a little white mixed breed who got cuddled and carried home.
"We have puppies, and they have been flying out the door," said animal technician Janene Thompson at the Woodbury shelter.
Each pup's or dog's adoption was publicly announced at the shelter for all to hear.
"It's been nothing but announcements and announcements and announcements," Thompson said. "It's a lot of animals for us to care for, so we're thrilled we're having such a wonderful turnout."