What a great Father's Day it turned out to be for Randy Kreimoyer of Palmerton on Sunday, thanks to Polkas for Pets.
The fifth annual Polkas for Pets, an animal adoption awareness program featuring polka music, was held at the Lehighton Community Grove.
Kreimoyer's mixed breed dog, Lucy, died last September at the age of 13, and left a big void in his life. They had Lucy from a pup. Still, Kreimoyer wasn't sure if he was going to get another dog.
At Polkas for Pets, a small black dog a retriever-border collie mix, caught his eye and his heart. And, he adopted the dog.
As he and his wife Annie were doing the adoption paper work, he happened upon an amazing coincidence.
His new pet also has the name Lucy.
It's one of many happy tales and "tails" that happened at the Polkas for Pets event, which was co-sponsored by the Mahoning Valley Lions Club and the Amazing Grace Spay/Neuter Program.
Tom Zimmerman IV, coordinator and president of the Lions club, said 11 animal rescue groups attended. He said there were several adoptions.
Bonnie and Mike Lazorick of Jim Thorpe found a new pet. They took home a female, black and white border collie.
Bonnie said the family had two Labs and a husky, but the Labs died last September and December.
"The husky (named Cody) is lonely," she added.
Asked what they'll name their new addition, Bonnie said, "Either Lucy or Ellie."
Both the Kreimoyers and Lazoricks got their dogs from the Friends of Pep Border Collie Rescue based in Gouldsboro, Wayne County.
Kate Scott, a volunteer with Friends of Pep, said there were four or five adoptions made by her group at Polkas for Pets.
She added that in five years, her group has found homes for 1,140 dogs.
Linda Trainer of Lehighton found the dog of her dreams, but said she had to first consult with her husband. She fell for an Old English Mastiff named Mamaduke.
Mamaduke, a huge, brown and white dog, was one of five that the Carbon County K-9 Unit brought to the event.
Debbie Craver, K-9 officer, said her office presently has 30 dogs available for adoption. She said there were several inquiries made about the ones she brought to the Grove, so she's hopeful those inquiries will turn into adoptions.
Alyssa Wentz and her mother, Melanie, both of Palmerton, were among the attendees at Polkas for Pets. Three years ago, they adopted two dogs, females named Kali Baer and Thaaya at the event, and they have provided the family with much happiness.
Alyssa attends Shippensburg University and this past year, Kali Baer won a special award: "Semester Pet of the Year."
Melanie said she isn't presently looking to adopt another dog, but came to support this year's event.
She added, "We'd love to see each and every one of them get a home."
Zimmerman said that the ideal weather conditions helped tremendously with the fine turnout of people.
Dr. Mary Lombardo, veterinarian, who attended on behalf of the Amazing Grace Spay/Neuter Program, agreed, adding that the conditions also were perfect for the animals brought to the site. It wasn't extremely hot and the Community Grove provided plenty of shade.
Two cat shelters were present.
Cat's Peek Rescue of New Ringgold brought five kittens the group hoped to get adopted. Diane Sharpless of Cat's Peek said presently her group has 32 cats most of them kittens which are available.
Carbon County Friends of Animals in Jim Thorpe utilized Polkas for Pets as a fundraising endeavor, selling hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks.
Rebecca Bailey, a volunteer and an animal cruelty officer, said the money raised would go to the Animal Cruelty Fund.
She added that Friends of Animals currently has about 150 cats at its shelter.
The polka music was provided by the Pennsylvania Villagers, who played a wide spectrum of tunes ranging from traditional polkas to such tunes as "Waltz Across Texas," "Brown Eyed Girl," "Spanish Eyes" and "The Wanderer."
The Pennsylvania Villagers have performed at all five of the Polkas for Pets.
Many of the people attending brought their own pets and walked with them.
"It's sad that more dogs and cats weren't adopted, but we did find homes for some of them," Zimmerman said. "Hopefully some people who attended will still consider adopting."