BROOKFIELD – Al Legear of Lyons was more than ready to fill the void in his heart with a furry friend.
The dog who lived with Legear's family recently had to be put to sleep. So Legear brought his son AJ and daughter Julie to Frisky Dog in Brookfield this past weekend to bring home a new pet.
"He had cancer," Legear said of the beloved family friend. "He was very much part of our family."
"We wanted to get a dog a little bigger than the one we had," Legear said. "They estimate this one will be about 50 to 60 [pounds], and it's a real family dog."
The owners of Frisky Dog, 9216 47th St., held their spring adoption fair May 5. They donate their facility to pet rescue programs so people can be matched with animals needing adoption.
The Legears left with a real armful of squirming, whimpering love: a 10-week old Catahoula mix. Julie Legear said she wanted to call the dog Bella, but her dad said that issue is still under debate.
The puppy adopted by the Legear family was one of six Catahoula mix dogs brought to the event by the Aurora-based Rover Rescue. They were all from a litter of 10 dogs, said Cindy Radzik of Rover Rescue. She said events like this were crucial to the work her organization does in finding loving homes for animals who might otherwise have to be put down.
Several other rescue programs, along with various animal-based organizations, participated in the fair. They included the South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, the Animal Care League in Oak Park and the Chicago Pit Stop Rescue in Chicago.
"We go into south suburban [homes] and we pull out animals that need help be it kittens, nursing moms, pregnant dogs, sick dogs, too-young-a dog or dogs that don't do good in a shelter, like energy dogs being in a cage, they don't do well. So we'll go in and we go through and we evaluate," said Cheryl West of the South Suburban Humane Society, who was showing off Blaire, a 3-year-old shepherd mix who has been living with a foster family until she can be adopted.
Joe Perry, co-owner of Frisky Dog, said this is one of several adoption fair the business holds each year. He co-owns Frisky Dog with Ross Rolando, Gail Stine and Carol Weber.
"I think it's extremely important," Perry said of the value of providing a forum for rescue programs to showcase their animals. "No. 1, let's be honest about it, we're all animal lovers and anything we can do to help the animals, the dogs themselves, we'll do it. It's also very beneficial to us in the sense of holding them here. People get a chance to see our own facility, see what we offer."
Organizers of the event were pleased that so many people were coming into the facility to see what the rescue programs had to offer. They hoped to see as many animals as possible have the same luck as did one young Catahoula mix. She may have been nameless when she left the shop, but she won't be homeless.