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• What: Holidays Super Pet Adoption
• When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
• Where: North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross
• Cost: Free
• For more information: Visit www.atlantaanimalsalive.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NORCROSS -- If you're ready to expand your family to one with more fur, this weekend is full of cat and dog adoptions at the North Atlanta Trade Center.
On Saturday, Atlanta Animals Alive hosts its first Home for the Holidays Super Pet Adoption with more than 200 adoptable animals from about a dozen local rescue groups and shelters.
All of the furry critters are available to take home -- spayed, neutered and vaccinated -- on the day of the event, but some groups may want to schedule an additional meeting to finalize the adoption later.
"We really are just providing a platform for rescue groups and less-trafficked shelters to reach the metro Atlanta community, and the rescue groups and shelters will be following their own adoption policies and charging their customary fees," said Ashley J. Freedman, a founder of Atlanta Animals Alive and the organizer of the event.
Each dog adopted at the event will receive a certificate for a free self-service grooming session from Kirkwood Feed & Seed and Gwinnett-based mobile vet Pet Fixer will offer $25 microchipping and $10 rabies vaccines on site.
Besides the adoptions, attendees can partake in pet Santa Paws photos, raffles and face painting. Vendors will be at the event selling and displaying wares.
Although it is the holiday season, Freedman recommends against giving pets as gifts.
"Adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment, and the decision should include all of the adults in the household," she said. "While we want to save as many animals as possible, 'surprise' pets are too often surrendered to shelters by owners who were unprepared for the personal and financial burden of pet ownership."
Instead, Freedman suggests buying the intended recipient a book about how to select the right pet or caring for a pet, a gift certificate for boarding or doggy day care or a gift basket filled with a collar and leash, bowls, treats, toys and a bed.
Since this is the first time for the event, Freedman hopes that it can return year after year for more adoptions and other educational purposes.
"My hope is that this event becomes an annual tradition and raises awareness of the 'adoption option,'" she said. "Nationally, only about 20 percent of pets are acquired through adoption, while around 4 million animals are killed in shelters every year. I would like to see Atlanta become a safer place for lost and stray animals where people think of adopting first."
Atlanta Animals Alive will also collect donations of pet toys, treats, towels and blankets for shelter animals.