Annual CRC vet tech adoption day gives cats & dogs a second chance


Jasper sprints on the fresh cut grass of the Cosumnes River College soccer field only to find the limits of the leash held by Scott Meyer, a man in his early 30s who is interested in adopting the Australian cattledog mix.

Meyer immediately notices Jasper’s strength, as the young dog tugs him across the field.

The two can already feel the sun’s heat and find shade under one of the five tents set up in the field. Jasper’s tongue sticks out, his tail wagging rapidly.

Meyer pets Jasper’s white fur, hoping it’s not the last time the two go for a walk.

“He’s a good dog with a lot of energy to burn off,” Meyer says. “I’m kind of an active person, so I think we would be a very good fit for each other.”

Meyer, along with three other people interested in adopting Jasper, must wait until 1 p.m., when a drawing determines who will take Jasper home.

Jasper is just one of eight dogs and seven cats up for adoption. The event, taking place at the CRC soccer fields on April 29, starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

Cheryl Buch, the supervisor for the adoption event, says the veterinary technician department has held an annual adoption day for animals since 1981.

Each year, the department receives 12 dogs and eight cats—many of which were on death row—from various animal shelters. In addition to being neutered or spayed, the animals receive shots, identification microchips, behavior training and other forms of veterinary care during their nine-month stay at CRC.

“We want these animals to find a permanent home,” Buch says. “They’ve given their lives right now to society to help train people to take care of animals in the future, and we feel that we owe it to them to find decent loving homes for them where they’re hopefully going to stay for the rest of their lives.”

The adoption fees are $100 for each dog and $50 for each cat.

In order to discourage impulse buying, Buch says the animals that find adoption will go to their homes on May 4.

At 1 p.m., the four candidates gather around as a volunteer draws a name. She pulls out one of the yellow pieces of paper and reads, “Scott Meyer.”

Meyer, with a humble demeanor, acknowledges the other candidates, promising that he’ll provide a great home for Jasper.

“My heart was actually racing during the lottery a little bit, just because there was so many people,” Meyer says. “I knew that he was going to go to a good home no matter what, but I wanted to be that home.”

Meyer walks back to the tent to share the news with Jasper. The two embrace each other like two long-lost friends who have been reunited. Meyer pets the excited dog’s neck and face. Jasper looks at his new friend, his ears pointing straight up as Meyer says, “Well, are you excited? Are you going to go home with me?”

“I don’t know if he understands what I’m saying, but I like to think he would,” Meyer says.

Under the same tent, Maya, a pitbull-hound mix with short black fur and a white chest, waits for a potential adopter. Scars from puncture wounds running up and down her front legs indicate a tormented past. She lies in the shade, her muscular legs spread out across the grass as a vet tech student pets her.

Melissa Looney, a 29-year-old veterinary technician major, says that Maya was scared and unsure about her environment.

With help from Looney and other members in the department, Maya’s come out of her shell and now interacts comfortably with her surroundings.

“I think just teaching her confidence in herself was the big thing,” Looney says.

Maya waits to use her newfound confidence in a loving home.

“You want to find the right match for them, especially with dogs like them that came from a kind of a questionable background,” Looney says. “You want them to go somewhere where they can really have a good life.”

By 2 p.m., however, only two dogs and one cat find adoption.

The volunteers dismantle the tents, exposing the shaded grass to a burning sun. Maya waits. The scars linger, serving as a constant reminder of another possible life.

update – The veterinary technology department is having a pet adoption event at Petco on Laguna Blvd. and Bruceville Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday May 5.