For Abby the Shih Tzu mix, Tuesday was a big day. Until last Friday, when she was picked up by animal shelter Homeward Trails, she had been roaming the streets of Washington. On Tuesday, however, Abby got a chance to find a new home at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Paws for Celebration adoption drive (yes, that was a mouthful)  in the Cannon Caucus Room.

Abby, just 1 year old, wasn’t alone. About 50 other dogs, and some cats, from seven animal shelters around D.C. wandered around the room as swarms of people ate “pupcakes” (cupcakes with pictures of dogs on them) and bent down to pet the animals, while some applied to adopt a new pet.

Among the throng of guests were members of the media who were seen ogling the dogs (we weren’t the only ones). Hannah Jeffrey, a Houston Chronicle intern, could barely tear herself away from Abby (her hands are seen around the pooch’s neck on the next page), and was soon on the phone asking her parents for permission to adopt the dog. Jeffrey applied for adoption despite her parents’ hesitation, hoping photos of her with the dog could sway their decision.

Other media outlets represented include HuffPost, Reuters, Roll Call, Scripps Howard and U.S. News & World Report.

Jessica Johnson, ASPCA’s senior manager for grassroots advocacy, said the planning started about a month and a half ago. All the shelters at the event had a hand in making it come together.

In addition to the Paws for Celebration event last year, ASPCA also organized a similar Paws for Love event in February. Johnson said it’s a way to give Capitol Hill a much-needed break.

“There’s a lot of tension in Congress sometimes, and this is an event where members from both sides of the aisle can come together and they can agree on dogs and cats,” Johnson said.

Many Hill staffers, along with journalists, were among the throngs of people petting the dogs and asking for their names.

Since the dogs were only able to bark, staff and volunteers from the various shelters and ASPCA gave us the animals’ names and stories.

Here are a few that we met.

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