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Clear the Shelters: Select the perfect pet for your family

Posted August 16

The ASPCA says the average, basic cost of owning a medium-size dog is $695 a year. A cat can cost about $670.

— WRAL-TV and MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM, in partnership with the Humane Society of the U.S., have teamed up with eight local animal shelters to host Clear the Shelters, the third annual nationwide pet adoption drive.

Each shelter will waive adoption fees on Saturday, Aug. 19, as part of the initiative.

While the event's goal is to find homes for as many animals as possible, the last thing shelters want is people bringing a cat or dog back to the shelter.

It's easy to fall in love with a puppy or a kitten, but Tara Lynn with the SPCA of Wake County suggests looking inside your family before you decide to make it larger.

"There is such a thing as the wrong pet for the wrong family," Lynn said. "Take a look at your lifestyle. If you love to go running, a senior dog that has some hip problems is not going to be the right pet for you."

"If you are a family that travels a lot, having a high energy dog may not be the right pet for you. Maybe you want to go with a kitty cat."

It's also important to consider the animals already in your home.

"Consideration must also be made for the animals you already have,” Lynn said. “There are ways to make that introduction less stressful for all of your animals.

"Sometimes it can be a matter of setting up some baby gates, allowing each dog or each cat to have their own area and slowly introducing them to each other for a limited amount of time. And then increase that time over a couple of weeks."

The key to having a positive pet adoption experience is to not rush the process and to not assume your dog or cat will love the new puppy or kitten as much as you do.


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