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'Change a Pet's Life' on Jan. 24

Pound On Saturday, Jan. 24, more than 300 animal shelters and humane societies will slash adoption fees and offer other incentives to potential adopters in a nationwide event called "Change a Pet's Life Day."

The event, organized by Hill's Pet Nutrition (the company behind the Science Diet pet food line), aims to draw attention to the many homeless pets in need of homes and boasts a celebrity endorser in Golden Globe- winning actress Kyra Sedgwick.

Hill's will pay all adoption fees for the first 10 pets from each participating shelter (up to 3,000 in all) and will donate pet food and an informational DVD to all adopters. 

The idea of adopting pets at no cost has been met with skepticism among many in the rescue community.  USA Today addressed concerns about free adoptions in an interview with Janet Donlin of Hill's:

"The shelters will be using their normal screening processes" on Jan. 24, Donlin says, to filter out inappropriate adopters, and the emphasis won't be on getting as many animals as possible out the door but on making solid adoption matches. "And we're underwriting the cost of the first 10 adoptions" to ensure the effort does not create a financial hardship on participating shelters.

The hope is that all the attention will not only mobilize people who have been considering getting a pet, but also prompt people who have not been inclined to visit a shelter to do so. "There are great animals in shelters," Donlin says, and "this is part of a broader effort to make sure people know that."

Participating shelters in Southern California include:

City of Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter
(909) 466-7387

Inland Valley Humane Society
(909) 623-9777

County of San Diego Animal Services
(760) 966-3214

To search for other participating shelters, check out Change a Pet's Life Day on the web.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

 
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