JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Dozens of pet rescues and shelters in northeast Florida are hoping to find homes for dogs and cats at this weekend's Mega Pet Adoption Event downtown at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.

"I have a 2-year-old cat that I adopted here in November of 2012 who will be getting a new boyfriend she doesn't know about yet," Hillary Carpenter said as the event began Friday. "I told her I'd be bringing her home a baby kitten, but instead she's getting a new boyfriend."

Carpenter's new buddy Sherman is just one of about 1,000 local dogs and cats in need of tender loving care.

"If the shelters go full, they do have to euthanize for space, and we don't want that," said Meredith Tekin, of First Coast No More Homeless Pets. "We're all working together, First Coast No More Homeless Pets and our coalition partners to try to make our community no kill."

Not only is each animal wonderful in its own way, they're all fully neutered, spayed, microchipped and vaccinated. The only thing that's missing is someone to take them home.

"It really does enrich your life. It can be better for your lifestyle," Tekin said. "You can walk them, play with them. It really is a comfort to have them and their unconditional love."

That's something Carpenter said is the best part.

"The fact that you're bringing it home -- a cat that might not have had a chance on the streets -- you're bringing it home and you get to love it," she said. "And he gets to love you. That's pretty awesome."

Organizers said 609 pets were adopted Saturday.

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.