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This Weekend Marks National Pet Adopt-A-Thon

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WILSON — Every year, millions of animals that once were pets are euthanized simply because their owners didn't want them any more. This weekend, animal shelters across the country hope to find families for many homeless animals.

Supporters hope making adoptions easier will inspire people to think about taking in a pet.

Typically, animals in the Wilson County shelter stand a much better chance of being euthanized than of being adopted. Last year, more than 1,100 cats and dogs were killed because no one claimed them.

So, this weekend, animal supporters are making it easier for people to take home a pet through its worldwide adopt-a-thon.

Judy Leggett, president of the Wilson Humane Society says more than 17,000 pets found homes during last year's drive.

In many communities, people who adopt can have their new pet spayed or neutered for free during the two day event. Local veterinarians and service groups are footing the bill.

Wilson Veterinarian Dr. Mark Matthews says spaying and neutering could solve much of the unwanted pet problem.

Supporters expect thousands of pets to find new homes during the adopt-a-thon, but Matthews says they want to be sure the adoptions aren't temporary.

Pets have a charming way of attracting new owners, but before anyone decides to take one home, supporters urge them to think hard about the work that goes along with your new family member.

Some shelters have set up special hours for this weekend. Anyone with questions can call their local shelter to find out more.