NOVATO, Calif. (KTVU) - Rick Vorhees of Novato feels like he just won the puppy lottery,
"Are you thinking about a name?" asks an adoption counselor at the Marin Humane Society. "Not yet, I don't have a name yet," responds Vorhees, nuzzling a nine week old Labrador-Rottweiler mix that he will soon be taking home.
"She's such a doll," enthuses Vorhees, as the pup licks his face.
Vorhees has been wanting a companion for his ten-year-old Labrador Retriever, and like so many people, saw a photo Wednesday on the Humane Society Facebook page - a crate crammed with nine black, brown and yellow siblings that had been dropped off at the shelter Tuesday night.
"We just posted it and it blew up", spokeswoman Lisa Bloch told KTVU, "There were hundreds of calls, literally hundreds. We got calls from Texas and Virginia, people willing to come all the way here and get one!"
Bloch says the circumstances of being abandoned spurred the big response. "We feel for animals that are left outside, left to the elements" she noted, "it was a sad start for them, so I think that really kind of triggered something."
The man who brought the puppies in claimed he found them by a dumpster near a convenience store in San Rafael.
Since he dropped them off, he hasn't been reachable, and it's possible he was the actual owner. It's not unusual for people to be overwhelmed trying to care for a big litter.
"If we were able to somehow track down the mom of those puppies, we could get her spayed, so this cycle of homeless animals doesn't repeat," observed Bloch.
Two puppies went to new homes Friday morning. Six more, still recovering from spay and neuter surgery, are set for adoption on Saturday.
By Friday at 4 p.m., laden with bags of supplies and food, Vorhees was headed out the door with puppy number nine.
"Say goodbye, say goodbye!" said Vorhees, waving her paw at the camera. She will be a surprise gift for his wife.
As touching as the puppy plight was to so many people, shelters all over the Bay Area have dogs just as adorable, and adoptable, waiting now.
"A lot of these animals have sad stories, dramatic stories, and you're saving a life when you adopt an animal," reminded Lisa Bloch.