Adoption Concerns at the 2018 Date Festival

Adoption Concerns at the 2018 Date Festival

Patrick Price

The 2018 date Festival was a success for many vendors, including the Coachella Valley Animal Shelter who saw more than 100 adoptions during the week long event. But one animal rescue center in the area says several of those who adopted, have already contacted them looking to give their pets up.

It’s a slice of paradise in the middle of the desert, all for these four-legged canines but the Pet Rescue Center in Coachella is filled to the brim.

“I know what i can handle and what I can’t,” said Chrstine Mandrugo, owner of the Pet Rescue Center.

She’s frustrated that she can’t take in anymore animals. Most of her dogs are rescues and have been abandoned.

“The six phone calls I got Monday were frustrating because people need to carry through with what they do when they adopt a dog,” she said.

She says those calls were from people who adopted dogs at the 2018 Date Festival.

“Nobody goes to the fair to get a dog, in my opinion,” she said. “You go to eat junk food and go on rides.”

The Riverside County Animal Shelter sets up a booth there every year.

“A kid called me said I adopted a dog from the date fair and I’m going off to college and my parents don’t want it,” said Mandrugo.

The county shelter says it’s common to have returns after big adoption events. This year, a lower number of adoptions, around 130. In years past, they adopt around 300 to 400 dogs during the festival.

“I am in no way, shape or form trying to bash the county. I don’t want to make enemies, I don’t want to cause drama,” she said. “But I get the phone calls and the dogs thrown over the fence and the people at the front door that have adopted and realize a week or five weeks later that they made a mistake.”

All she says she wants is for people to think responsibility before adopting.

“I just want the right thing for these dogs that have been bounce around enough,” she said.

The county shelter says in the latest statistics for the month of February, 498 dogs were adopted with 34 of those dogs being returned. That’s about six percent.

They maintain that the majority of those who adopt from the Date Festival, call ahead of time to confirm that adoptions are taking place and later show up to follow through with the adoptions.