Campaign underway to help more pets find a home for the holidays

CONYERS -- Cats and dogs at the Rockdale County Animal Care and Control shelter will get a little extra help in finding a home this holiday season.

RCACC has partnered with Iams Home 4 the Holidays to help sheltered animals find a home by holding an adoption event for young and adult dogs and cats throughout the month of November. This is the first time RCACC has participated in an adoption and spay/neuter program this large.

"One of the major hurdles we face is to find homes for adult larger breed dogs and adult cats," said CiJi Baker, shelter manager. "This program is a way for us to try to ensure that every adoptable animal in the Rockdale County animal shelter will find a home for the holidays."

Baker said kittens over 4 months of age, adult cats, dogs 6 months of age or older, and medium-large to extra-large dogs are the most difficult to place in homes. Puppies and kittens typically go quickly around the holidays, he said.

"This time of the year, puppies go quicker and kittens go quicker because of Christmas right around the corner," Baker said. "Not everyone wants an adult dog as a gift."

But there are advantages to adopting a more mature pet, he said.

"Anytime you adopt an animal six months of age or older, you truly are saving a life," said Baker, in addition to freeing up space at the shelter for another animal.

In addition, "It's easier to train (an older dog), because you aren't dealing with the puppy stage. They have the mental capacity to learn more," Baker said.

Baker said that anyone with children who is considering adopting an older animal may bring their children to the shelter to see how they interact with a potential adoptee before making a final decision.

Adoption fees for Rockdale residents are $30 for dogs and $20 for cats. Out-of-county residents can adopt pets for a fee of $35 for dogs and $25 for cats. All animals adopted will have up-to-date shots, deworming, a rabies vaccination voucher and an adoption kit.

Those who adopt a qualifying pet through Nov. 30 will also receive a free spay or neuter appointment. Dogs eligible for the free spay or neuter must grow to be at least a medium to extra-large breed and be six months or older. Cats must be four months or older.

Animals that qualify will receive a certificate the day of adoption. These certificates can only be used at RCACC for the animal the certificate specifies. The adopter will be given a date for the spay or neuter surgery. The date for the surgery can be changed once due only to an emergency. If the adopter does not show up for the appointment, the certificate is void. If the animal is not adopted or available for adoption before Dec. 1, the animal does not qualify for the free spay or neuter.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays Campaign is designed to not only help pets find homes but also to support the efforts of animal shelters. Donations to RCACC can be made through the Iams website. Posters will be located throughout the shelter with cellphone bar codes that can be scanned to register newly adopted pets for the Iams Lifelong Rewards program to receive offers and coupons for Iams products. For every sign-up, Iams will make a donation of 5 pounds of food to RCACC.

Animals available for adoption can be found at www.petfinder.com/shelters/GA399.html or in person at the shelter, 1506 Rockbridge Road, Conyers, 30012. The shelter is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit www.iams.com/pet-adoption/home-for-the-holidays to make donations to RCACC.