Canines of every kind and color took over the square in downtown Gainesville on Saturday, March 24, for Main Street Gainesville’s annual Mutts on Main.
The event, which includes a fashion show, dog contests and showcases several dog-related vendors, brings in the Hall County Animal Shelter in hopes of getting some of its dogs adopted out to loving families
“The more we can get out there, get our face out there and create some awareness, the better,” said David Jones, assistant director with Hall County Animal Control. “Hopefully more people will come to the shelter and support the shelter.”
Hannah Soliman, 11, was in one of those families that took home a new best friend. As soon as she stepped into the trailer with the dogs the shelter had for adoption, she was drawn to Charlie, a 10-month-old, black and white Boston terrier mix, full of energy.
“I’m super excited,” Hannah said. “I love puppies. As soon as I saw him, and he was energetic, I knew I just wanted him. I was just so excited.”
Soliman’s mom, Aimee, said they didn’t plan on getting a dog Saturday, but once she found out where they were headed, she knew the inevitable would happen.
At their home in Lawrenceville, the Solimans have a big, fenced-in backyard for Spot, the cavachon they already have. Now they’ve added one more dog to the mix.
But it didn’t come without a few pleas. Isabella Soliman, 9, said she had to persuade her mom to let them adopt Charlie.
“We love animals and it’s so hard to say no,” Aimee said. “It’s nice to give a dog a home that really needed one.”
The vendors scattered across the square helped draw more people to the event. The Dapper Dog, an all-natural dog soap and shampoo company from Lawrenceville, joined for the first time.
Mary Doran started the company in August 2017 and has been attending festivals since. She makes everything out of her kitchen. she said, and it’s just like cooking. She can control all the ingredients, making sure it’s safe, which is what she stresses most.
“I like the natural stuff,” Doran said. “I don’t like all the chemicals on my dog.”
Before the event was half over, five out of the six dogs the shelter brought had been adopted.
Kristen Howard, a manager with Main Street since August, organized the event for her first time. She said any excuse to get dogs on the square is something she is “totally for.”
She said sometimes people are nervous to bring their dogs to the square on a regular basis, so the event gave them a chance to do it without having to worry.
Howard didn’t have to worry while planning the event. She knew dogs would show up and she was hopeful the ones up for adoption would find a home.
“It’s definitely been a lot of fun,” Howard said. “I don’t want to say it’s been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it.”