DEFIANCE, Mo. – April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. According to the ASPCA, more than 6 million animals enter shelters in the U.S. every year, and there are hundreds of pets across the St. Louis area in need of a forever home.

Chandler Hill Vineyards brought several area animal rescues to one spot for the semi-annual Wine & Wags event in Defiance. That’s where Cameron Scaturro and his girlfriend, Hailey Powell, picked up a new rescue they’re naming Kai.

“It’s special, because you give a dog a second chance to have a good home,” Scatturo said.

They like to foster from Lucky K9 Rescue. Other participating rescues included 4 Paws 4 Rescue, Home2Home, Lucky Chance, Straw Paws, Five Acres Animal, Speak, Even Chance and Open Door Animal Sanctuary. Linda Roever, president of Stray Paws Rescue, brought about 10 dogs people could apply to adopt.

“Then we take the puppy to the house, and we have them meet the people and meet their other animals and their family, make sure it’s a good home for the puppy, and then we complete the adoption,” Roever said.

Studies show there are many benefits of taking in a dog or cat, but Roever said there are several factors to keep in mind before making this big decision. For example, can you handle the financial responsibility, and who will take care of it. You should also see how the pet interacts with your family.

“Do some research on the breeds,” she said. “All the breeds are different.”

The adoption event in Defiance in St. Charles County went from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. In St. Louis County, hundreds of pets are in need of a home too.

The APA Adoption Center in Olivette is still overflowing with animals.

Sarah Javier, the executive director said at that location, said they are waiving all adoption fees Sunday for National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. The facility on Baur Blvd. was the former St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center. They contracted it over to the APA back in December, with the goal of decreasing the overpopulation issues and improving the conditions inside.

Richard Rone has worked for the Animal Protective Association (APA) of Missouri for 30 years.

“I’ll tell you what. If you come in here, you won’t have to pick one out; it’ll pick you,” he said.