QUINCY -- Kelsey Myers spent some time rocking the baby to sleep, and the yet-unnamed puppy luxuriated in all the attention.
Comfy chairs for rocking puppies to sleep are just one feature of the new Homeward Bound Waggin Adoption Center, which opened Saturday in the Quincy Mall near the children's play area.
Homeward Bound Waggin President Ronna Robertson said the center -- open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday -- will help the organization get more animals in homes faster.
"As all-volunteer group, it makes it a little difficult in terms of having our building open because we do work full-time jobs," she said. "This gives us an opportunity to have the public come in, meet animals and talk to them about pets and get more adopted."
The idea proved popular so far.
"We had a line waiting when we got here," Robertson said. "We've had a really good turnout."
Stopping by the center was a perfect fit for Myers.
"I've always been a huge animal lover," the Palmyra, Mo., woman said. "I'm looking for an opportunity to help out. I saw they were looking for volunteers. I came to find out more info."
So did her friend Taylor Barrett, also from Palmyra.
"I've always liked dogs and cats. I've adopted dogs before," she said. "I want to help out in any way I can."
The eight dogs and three cats at the center all were available for adoption, and "this is just a sampling. As we talk to people and find out what they're looking for, sometimes we offer one back at the building," Robertson said.
Would-be pet owners can complete an application at the center. "We're not set up right now to process adoptions right on the spot, but we will get back to everyone within 24 hours," Robertson said.
Expanding to include the center marked a big step for Homeward Bound, which incorporated in February 2013 to provide companion animals with a second chance at life by working for prevention of cruelty of animals, the relief of suffering among animals and providing safe transportation to a safe haven.
"This is a partnership with Quincy Mall. (Mall property manager) Mike Jenkins is very excited and eager to help get more animals into community homes as well," Robertson said. "It was a great opportunity for us to partner with them."