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Pups strut their stuff for potential forever families at 'Poochella' in Norfolk

PETA welcomed visitors to its riverfront dog park for this annual adoption event to meet dozens of dogs from nine area animal shelters.

NORFOLK, Va. — It's festival season, and a few dogs took center stage in not "Coachella", but "Poochella!"

PETA welcomed visitors to its riverfront dog park for this annual adoption event. Dozens of dogs from nine area animal shelters met potential new best friends, and so did 13News Now:

"It's a beautiful Saturday for Poochella - PETA's annual adoption event," said Daphna Nachminovitch with PETA.

"We are hosting nine local animal shelters and adoption agencies with dozens of dogs who are looking for homes and families forever homes," she told us as we met some of the dogs hanging out in the park.

"(These are) dogs who are homeless or have been previously neglected and unwanted and we are just thrilled to have such a wonderful turnout to give these dogs a chance to find a family," she said.

"Oh my goodness," said one participant as she fawned over one of the pups.

"One of the dogs that PETA has for adoption is named May," said Nachminovitch, introducing us to one of the participants. "She was neglected at the end of a tether for many, many years, and she's suffering such a severe hair loss from flea allergy dermatitis, which is just an allergy to the saliva of fleas, and we've been treating her and her hair is coming back in."

"Thousands and thousands of adoptable dogs are in our local shelters here, and our local shelters are crowded and struggling to find homes, and so we really are calling on the community to open their hearts and homes to an animal in need," she said.

"Forget about that breeder. Forget about that pet store. If you go to a pet store, that animal came from a puppy mill," Nachminovitch pleaded.

"We want you to go to your local shelter. You can find any dog of any shape and size that you like," she said.

"So please support your local shelter. Always adopt, never shop."

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