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WRAL newshound wants more SPCA animals to find homes

Posted April 15, 2010 12:28 p.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2010 2:37 p.m. EDT

— Tracker, WRAL's newshound, is helping others animals at the SPCA of Wake County find homes.

Tracker visited the animal shelter on Petfinder Lane, off Tryon Road, this week. Last April, Tracker was one puppy among the many dogs, cats and rabbits waiting to be adopted.

Since he was adopted by WRAL Operations Manager Leesa Craigie, Tracker has blogged, made friends on Facebook and entertained audiences at the State Fair and Rolesville Christmas Parade. He's also gotten training and recently passed the Canine Good Citizen test.

"It means that they are polite in public and that they can sit and they don't jump on people," said trainer Christie Canfield, with Teamworks Dog Training.

On Saturday, Tracker will be part of what organizers say will be the largest parade of dogs in downtown Raleigh. The K9-3K Dog Walk is aimed at raising $200,000 for the SPCA.

"We're really lucky because Tracker is able to spread the message and bring the word home to help all the other dogs that are in his position to maybe someday have the life that Tracker has," SPCA spokeswoman Mondy Lamb said.

(Join Tracker's Backers in the K9-3K Dog Walk.)

The SPCA of Wake County took in nearly 13,000 animals in 2009, and the poor economy drove that number up, Lamb said. More people have surrendered their pets, and at the same time, donations have been harder to come by.

"We save lives every day, and the more dollars we have, the more lives we are able to save," she said.

The shelter runs strictly on private donations. It receives no local, state or national government funding.

The SPCA is also trying to help out pet owners struggling in this economy. In the past year, it opened a new low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic and a pet food pantry for people unable to afford pet food.

"We're doing these things to stop the animals from coming in to the shelter in the first place, so we're really tackling the problem from both ends," Lamb said.