Congressional staffers were all smiles Tuesday afternoon as area animal shelters gave them a respite from the daily political grind.
Only a few older attendees of the "Paws for Celebration" event could be heard talking business near a table offering cupcakes in the middle of the third-floor Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room.
The rest of the horde hugged puppies, played with older dogs and snapped photos with their smartphones. All of the animals – mostly dogs, but also a few cats – were available for adoption, but only a few shelters were offering same-day pick-up.
Plastic covered the large room's floor to prevent carpet stains, and at least one 11-week-old puppy proved the wisdom of that decision.
The popular event was organized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. At last year's event, more than a dozen animals were adopted as a direct result of the showcase, organizers told U.S. News - although they said the true number might be higher.
At the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation's table, this puppy snuggled in a purse, but decided to venture out as the crowd swelled.
This rescued pug is a renowned ladies' man, shelter workers told the young women who showered him with affection. He wasn't so eager for male attention.
Bambi was a fan favorite. The lovable four-year-old lives at the Washington Animal Rescue League.
A few young puppies were on hand. This chihuahua mix enjoyed being held, while a more rambunctious pal (background) bolted about.
This high-spirited lab enjoyed some rough-housing with new friends. Despite his animated appearance, there was no hint of aggression from the young adult.