Residents at Oakmont of Valencia had the chance to interact with some unarguably adorable dogs at a pet adoption event on Sunday.
The adoption drive was done in coordination with Hank’s Legacy Foundation, a local nonprofit that aims to assist overflowing animal shelters by doing drives such as this one, with proceeds for Sunday’s event going toward the Alzheimer’s Association.
Shelby Elrashidy, founder of Hank’s Legacy, said she named the organization in honor of her dog, Hank, who tragically died at just 2 years old. Upon moving to the Santa Clarita Valley from her home state of Minnesota, she felt compelled to get involved in any way she could to help animals find forever homes.
“I started Hank’s legacy as a way to rescue and adopt out as many dogs and cats as I possibly could,” said Elrashidy. “But, it was also a way to kind of connect with a community that I was relatively new to, and kind of try to make some kind of little impact.”
In the three years since its founding, Hank’s Legacy has rescued over 600 dogs and cats, according to Elrashidy, including four puppies that were dropped off at the event. A person had apparently brought the four dogs, handed them off and left.
The adoption drive was able to secure two adoptions, but gained four puppies in the process. While this wasn’t exactly the goal of the event, Elrashidy said it was also nice that residents were able to interact with dogs as a form of animal therapy. In that sense, that goal was completed. Elrashidy recounted how one resident was elated to take one of the dogs on a walk around the courtyard while in his powerchair.
“It just totally made my heart happy because he probably hasn’t been able to interact with a dog like that in a while and he had just a blast,” said Elrashidy. “So that was probably the cherry of the day.”
The event, and its three-organization partnership, was largely thanks to Megan Town — a salesperson at Oakmont who recently had adopted a pet, a dog named Odie, from Hank’s Legacy. Town said working with residents who have dementia and Alzheimer’s on a daily basis made the event an important cause for Oakmont and she was very thankful to Hank’s for helping out with it.
“They are the most wonderful local rescue in Santa Clarita,” said Town. “They are so thorough and so hands-on and I’m so grateful to them. They changed my life.”
Organizers of the event said it was helping raise money for the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is scheduled to be held in Bridgeport Park in October.