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SPCA displays pets for adoption at Valley Mall

September 19, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

HALFWAY - Those at the Valley Mall got a chance to shop for much more than back-to-school items on Sunday.

The Washington County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sponsored an "Adopt-A-Pet" day at the mall's main entrance and took adoption applications throughout the day.

A 2-year-old Dalmatian, a shepherd-mix puppy, short- and long-haired cats and an angora rabbit were on display to tempt would-be pet owners.

The organization holds the event at the Halfway Boulevard mall so people who might not have a chance to get to the shelter during the week can see the animals, said Gretchen Barnhart, spokeswoman.

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Additionally, some people may feel uncomfortable visiting the SPCA; bringing the animals to the mall is a way of showing them in a different setting, she said.

"We've received a lot of interest. Everybody wants to hold them," said Barnhart.

Barnhart said she received three adoption applications Sunday. The SPCA brings the pets to the mall several times a year, she said.

Casey Heller, of Hagerstown had her eye on a short-haired cat for a pet. "It's soft and friendly," said the 10-year-old.

Her mother, Jennifer, said she may consider adopting another pet. The family already has taken in a mixed-breed dog and stray cat, she said.

The SPCA is a full-service shelter that cares for not only dogs and cats, but rabbits, ferrets, iguanas and other animals.

The shelter receives 5,000 pets a year and euthanizes about 70 percent of them, said Shelly Moore, executive director.

Moore said not all of the animals that come to the SPCA are suitable for adoption. Many have behavioral or medical problems which make them inappropriate as pets, she said.

She estimates that 600 animals are adopted each year.

People interested in adopting a pet from the shelter must be over 18. For more information about adopting a homeless animal, contact the Washington County SPCA at 301-733-2060.

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