Rachel was desperately in need of a friend.
The 3 1/2-year-old dog owned by Father Tracy Wilder, rector of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Ruskin, had been lonely since her canine companion was hit and killed by a car.
So Wilder brought her to the Camp Bow Wow Tampa South Shore's first Find Love on a Leash dog adoption event and rescue group fundraiser.
It didn't take Rachel long to make her choice. She encountered Lulu, a pit bull/lab mix at the Heidi's Legacy Dog Rescue booth, and wagged her tail in approval.
"They seem to get along and are about the same size and age," said Wilder, "so we decided to adopt Lulu. They can play together and keep each other company when we're not home."
Lulu wasn't the only dog that went home with new owners following the April 28 event at 12218 Balm-Riverview Rd., Riverview.
JuJue, a German shepherd puppy featured on Bloomingdale-Riverview Patch April 23, and her mother, Lyndy, were both adopted by Matthew Gross. The two dogs had been found abandoned in the Everglades and Heidi's Legacy founder Lori Hoffman brought them to her shelter in Lithia.
"We pull a lot of dogs out of the Everglades," said Hoffman. "At least 300 dogs are dumped there every year."
"I'd been looking for a German shepherd for about three months," said Gross. "Now I have two. I couldn't split them up."
Mark Demshock traveled all the way from New Port Richey in the hopes of finding Renton, an affable young pit bull, a new home.
Renton had been scheduled to be euthanized when Demshock, a volunteer with Second Chance Boxer Rescue, rescued him. Now Demshock wants to place him in a loving home. He even started a Facebook page for Renton to generate interest.
"He already has 42 'likes,'" said Demshock. "He's very friendly with people and good in the house. He'll make someone a great pet."
Renton is among 30 dogs currently in foster care with Second Chance Boxer Rescue, founded in January by Bloomingdale East resident Bill Gray.
"Most of the dogs we rescue are boxers, but every so often a volunteer encounters another dog scheduled to be killed that they can't resist rescuing," said Gray. "If the volunteer makes the commitment and is willing to pay for the dog's medical expenses, we'll rescue any breed."
Gray said 28 of the dogs currently in foster care with his rescue group are pure-bred boxers, a breed he fell in love with 15 years ago.
"They're just great companions," said Gray. "They just want to be wherever you are. They're kind of goofy. They're known as the clowns of the dog world. But they're smart and make a great family pet."
In addition to Renton, Second Chance Boxer Rescue brought Jack and Diane to Find Love on a Leash.
"They were dumped at a kill shelter after they had puppies," said Gray. "We're trying to adopt them together. They're really attached."
Gray said the shelter they were taken to separated the two dogs and Diane became frightened. When Second Chance Boxer Rescue volunteers picked them up, the two dogs cuddled in the back seat and Diane licked Jack's face.
Also on hand with dogs needing homes were Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, Pug Rescue of Florida, English Springer Rescue America, Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort of Ruskin, Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions and Marti Ryan, spokeswoman from Hillsborough County Animal Services, who brought along a couple of the shelter's adoptable dogs.
Camp Bow Wow franchise owner Doris Darga said her goal in hosting the event was to get some of the thousands of dogs awaiting homes in Hillsborough County adopted.
Music was provided by Sundown and food and food was provided by the Burger Culture food truck.