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“Take Me Home Carolinas” offers pet adoptions for 80 percent off

SALISBURY — Nina Dix thinks that everyone, once in his or her life, needs to experience the feeling of rescuing an animal.

The best way to do that is to adopt one from a local shelter, said Dix, chairwoman of the nonprofit Shelter Guardians.

This weekend, the Rowan County Animal Shelter will offer an opportunity to do just that — and at a fraction of the usual cost.

From 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the shelter will hold a “Take Me Home Carolinas” adoption fair. All pet adoptions will be 80 percent off the standard pricing: $16 for animals that haven’t been spayed or neutered and $3 for those that have.

Shelter Guardians, a group dedicated to identifying and meeting the needs of the shelter through fundraising and volunteer efforts, will be out in force Saturday, Dix said.

“If you’re looking for a dog or a cat, when you save one from the shelter, you’ve really saved their lives,” she said. “Try the shelter first.”

Animals adopted through the Rowan County shelter are provided vaccinations, microchips and a sample of free food. Both dogs and cats are dewormed.

For dogs, vaccines include a 5-in-1 vaccine for adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Dogs are also vaccinated for bordetella.

Cats are given a 3-in-1 vaccine against rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and feline distemper.

Both dogs and cats are given a one-year rabies vaccine if age-appropriate. “Unaltered” animals come with a $70 voucher to be spayed or neutered.

Reduced-rate adoption events began with sponsorships from Shelter Guardians, whose volunteers would transport animals to an outside location to meet with potential adoptees.

“It used to be a lot of work for a lot of people,” said Dix, referring to the process of bathing and transporting about a hundred animals from the shelter and back, where necessary.

Now, the county hosts the adoption fairs at the shelter itself. It also has taken on sponsoring the adoption specials after seeing their success, said Dix.

“The first year, we adopted out around 60 animals,” she said. “Now, each event averages around 95 to 100 adoptions.”

For those interested in adopting Saturday, an early arrival may be best: Dix said families are usually lined up waiting before the doors open on adoption days.

“It’s business as usual but with a lot more people, so you have to have a lot more volunteers,” she said. “If you get there in the morning, there will be a line out to the road. We have to hand out numbers to people in line. It can get hectic there for the first couple of hours.”

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