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Love at first sight

Jayden Standish 5 Portage plays with fox terrier mix puppy HowlathAdoptathsponsored by Humane Society Northwest IndianAlbanese Candy Factory Merrillville Ind.

Jayden Standish, 5, of Portage plays with a fox terrier mix puppy at the Howlathon Adoptathon, sponsored by the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana, at the Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, Ind., on Oct. 20, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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AT A Glance

For more information about the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana, call 938-3339 or visit www.millerscritters.net. The society also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HumaneSocietyofNWIN. Its pets available for adoption are viewable at petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=IN191.

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Updated: January 8, 2013 1:25AM



When Carol and Jerry Ryba’s 15-year-old dog died two years ago, they waited to replace their beloved pet.

During the recent Howlathon Adoptathon at the Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, the Rybas, of St. John, fell in love with one of the first animals they saw — a 6-month-old shepherd mix.

“It’s time; we finally found our new pet,” Carol said. “We’re very excited, but realize it takes time for the procedure. The application is completed.”

The event, sponsored by the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana, brought many animal lovers to see the furry friends set up under a large white tent near the entrance.

Humane Society volunteer Diane Buche fielded questions from dozens of visitors all morning as they perused the cages containing seven dogs and seven puppies of various ages, breeeds and sizes.

“This is our second adoptathon at this location; puppies and candy go together,” Buche said with a laugh. “We want to bring the animals to where the people are. At last year’s event, 10 of the 12 animals we brought here were adopted.”

Jenny King of Merrillville and her children, Gabrielle, 5, and Jeremy, 9, quickly were drawn to the animals.

“I told the kids they can just look,” King said. “I’m deciding if they are old enough for the responsibility of a pet; they’ve never had one.

“I like the work the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana does, so I’ll take their information and we’ll probably go there when the time is right. We live close to their place.”

Another group considering pet ownership was Eric Grandier’s family from Merrillville. Edie Grandier, 5, playfully poked her finger at Pinkey, a 4-year-old terrier mix.

Dad gathered information displayed on the tables under the tent, then told his daughter they should visit the Humane Society shelter (6100 Melton Road, Gary) to see the other animals there.

“When I was younger, my family adopted an older dog, one that the shelter in Hammond said nobody seemed to want,” Eric said. “But Skipper was a good dog and was with us for more than 10 years. I don’t think we should give up on the older dogs; they make good pets, too.”

Betty Clayton, executive director of the Humane Society, is working hard to get the word out about her agency.

“We work with area pet rescue organizations and other humane societies, and are involved many outreach programs as well,” she said.



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