You’ve heard of Valentine’s Day. Perhaps even Galentine’s Day. But Pawlentine’s Day?

That’s the name of one bustling dog adoption rally held yesterday morning outside a small local jewelry store on the Northeast corner of Smith St. and University. Among the crowd of animal enthusiasts were young locals, travelers, and Monica Angel, the owner and founder of the Arizona based non-profit dog adoption organization, Angels for Paws Animal Rescue.

“We are out here hoping to get some of our dogs adopted,” said Angel. “We take dogs from high risk situations, from the county shelters, we work with the police departments, and also take in owner surrenders. We typically focus on pitbulls and harder to place animals.”

Pawlentine’s Day was created to get the word out about several local pups. While Angels for Paws Animal Rescue does not allow on-site adoption, they encouraged bystanders to submit an application to start the process required for a trial adoption.

“We have quite a few events coming up,” said Angel. “If you follow us on social media @angelsforpaws, you will be able to see all of our events. They are all listed.”

The host of the event, Pure Life Jewelry, located in Unit 1 of 2011 E Fifth St in Tempe, AZ, has had the physical location for a little more than two years now. Primarily a purveyor of hand-made jewelry, owner and founder Jenny Rodriguez decided the cause of dog adoption was too great for her business not to support.

“They are just a really great organization,” said Rodriguez. “[Adoption] has shown me a love that cannot compare. Ace is the dog that I got through Angels for Paws and he is just the love of my life. He is an amazing dog.”

The pit bulls at the event ranged in age and size from very young and tiny to old and burly. They happily roamed around the event as their leashes were passed between prospective owners. Their tails wagged wildly as they received smiles and scratches from the equally enamored crowd surrounding them.

“I came out to support this,” said bystander Rachel Miller. “I brought donations and I am buying some jewelry… I like to support my friend and dogs, so I was sold.”

Dog adoption events like these have become paramount in a world continually closed off by COVID-19. Many local shelters were already struggling before the risks associated with the pandemic further hindered their cause. Additionally pitbulls, often framed as one of the most violent dogs out there, have additional stigma based barricades to overcome when finding a happy and healthy home.

Still, mornings like these give hope to those holding the leashes outside of Pure Life Jewelry. Their work and effort carry on the cause of dog adoption with hopes that they will help ease the suffering of these often forgotten animals.

“Please adopt. Don’t shop. Don’t buy your dogs,” said Angel. “There are so many dogs in need, and so many dogs that are getting euthanized at the shelter and getting killed everyday. So please, check your local shelter and check your local rescue.”