Animals • Center will be open Wednesday through Saturday.
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The dogs and cats were dressed up in their finest bow ties and cocktail dresses Thursday afternoon inside Trolley Square, trying to look their best for a potential new owner.
Temma Martin, spokeswoman for Best Friends Animal Society, said the classy attire perfectly fit the setting of the grand opening of the organization's Pet Adoption Center.
"We're excited, this is a celebration and we wanted to make it festive and fun," Martin said.
The adoption center held a special event Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. to encourage adoptions, allowing new pet parents to pay whatever amount they chose for their new best friend. Regular adoptions for dogs are $75 and $25 for cats.
The new center houses 10 dogs and 10 cats at a time, with six pets already adopted since the center's original opening May 9. Martin said the goal is to get 500 animals adopted over the next six months.
Mary Norton, 59, adopted a 2-year-old terrier-Chihuahua mix named Dixie Thursday to join her other dog, 4-year-old Donovan, who is also a terrier mix. Norton said she had an "instinctive" feeling about Dixie from the beginning.
"I'm really big on intuition," Norton said. "I took one look at her and she looks like she could be my other dog's daughter."
Wolfgang Hill, 69, adopted a 4-year-old black and tan miniature pinscher named Zack to be "buddies" with his 5-year-old poodle, Marley, after Hill's other dog died.
Hill said he stumbled on the adoption center while walking through the shopping center.
After looking for a new dog at several of the other animal shelters in the Salt Lake Valley, he said the connection with Zack was instant.
"He caught my eye because of the color, size and breed," Hill said. "I like all the others, too, but I had a preference for him."
The adoption center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Trielle Gritton, the animal adoption coordinator at the center, said the new location will help pets find new homes and help fight the stigma associated with adopted animals.
"We hope to get more animals in homes, but we also hope to educate people that there are wonderful animals in shelters and rescues," Gritton said.