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Local Animal Shelter Offers Alternative To Dalmatian-Buying Bonanza

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GARNER — One thing you may find on your child's wish list this year is a Dalmatian puppy. The movie, "102 Dalmatians," may have something to do with it, but you may get more than you bargained for. One local shelter is offering an alternative to the spotted dogs.

When Jennifer Stallings "spotted" her dog at the shelter, she knew she was the one.

"It's the first one I saw, so I liked him," she says. "It's better to come here. You know a lot of them are strays, and they need good homes. I think strays are better anyway."

TheSPCA of Wake Countyhas a slogan to promote Dalmatian Days, "You Don't Need Spots to Make a Great Pet!" It is an effort to adopt shelter dogs and educate the public about dalmatians.

The movie release of "102 Dalmatians," is sure to send people scrambling for pups. But about six months later, shelters generally see a 25 percent increase in the spotted dogs.

Jennifer Byrd, an SPCA adoption counselor who owns a dalmatian, says the dogs are prone to skin allergies and deafness. They also tend to be hyper and territorial.

"They are perfect puppies, but when they grow up, they tend to be more aggressive as they get older," she says.

One of the reasons mixed-breed dogs make such great pets is because of a thing called hybrid vigor.

"You get a combination of whole bunch of different dogs," says Mondy Lamb, spokeswoman for SPCA of Wake County. "You get the loyalty of a German shepherd, the intelligence of a Border collie, and you get the playfulness of a labrador. They're all mixed up into one mixed-breed dog."

On Friday, six dogs and nine cats were adopted. Dalmatian Days will continue Saturday at the SPCA of Wake County at 327 Highway 70 East in Garner from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Lynda Loveland, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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