Rick Scofinsky of Youngstown cradled Sara Rose, a 3-month old black lab/Rottweiler mix in his arms as the contented dog licked his face.
Welcome to the Scofinsky family, Sara Rose. Rick and his wife Laurie spotted the 15-pound puppy at this weekend’s Northeast Ohio Pet Expo Show at the Eastwood Expo Center Saturday, adopted and promptly named her.
“We didn’t know we were going to adopt, said Scofinsky, 56, owner of two other dogs, “but when we saw her, we knew we had to.” The couple discovered Sara Rose at a booth operated by New Lease on Life Rescue, a non-profit group based in Struthers offering dogs and cats for adoption. Like many of the shelters, the group needs financial help.
“We pay $3,000 to $5,000 a month on veterinary bills,” said Darla Donahue, a full-time volunteer. “We did well at the Pet Expo last year and we hope people will respond again.”
New Lease animals are spayed or neutered and have all their shots. The group like the other shelters charges adoption fees to cover costs. The Scofinskys paid a $200 adoption fee for Sara Rose.
An older dog of theirs with the identical mix is in the late stages of cancer and the family hopes Sara Rose can help cheer her up. “I love these mixes and she’ll have a good home,” Scofinsky said.
Another organization, Shelter Puppies based in Cortland offers similar services, but implants identification microchips in all of its puppies and trains them before making them available for adoption. Shelter Puppies charges $275 adoption fees.
“Too often, people adopt and realize soon after that they can’t take care of the dog properly, so we work to make sure that doesn’t happen with our dogs,” said Randy Wilson, adoption coordinator. Wilson said that around 100 puppies have been adopted from the organization since its founding in 2010.
For more on the Expo, which continues from 10 to 5 Sunday, read Sunday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.