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National Adoption Weekend event at SPCA’s Petco adoption center

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The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Jefferson County’s new adoption center at Petco in the Towne Center plaza off outer Arsenal Street already has a recurring problem: pets are going quickly.

SPCA Executive Director Douglas J. Marlow said it is a good problem to have because animals have gone to loving homes.

“We have lots of folks who come through here,” Mr. Marlow said Saturday during a National Adoption Weekend celebration. “This has also probably been the lowest number of animals we have had in the shelter in a long time because of the Petco traffic.”

On Tuesday alone, he said, the SPCA’s main Water Street location adopted out four kittens. While no kittens were available Saturday at the SPCA’s Petco adoption center, there were seven adoptable adult cats and three albino rats left toward the end of the day. All three available dogs — a female Labrador/greyhound mix, a male long-haired dachshund and a male pug/Chihuahua mix — were adopted Saturday.

Robert Criss, Fort Drum, adopted the pug/Chihuahua mix because he said it was perfect for his family.

“I wanted a fat cat, but my wife really wanted the Shih Tzu in the mall,” he said. “She really wanted a little dog. Before, I had a Siberian husky, but we live on base and I didn’t have the room. We came in looking for fish, and she really liked the dog.”

They also purchased six tropical fish from Petco.

While Petcos across the nation celebrate National Adoption Weekend, Mr. Marlow said, the SPCA also is celebrating its six-year partnership with the national chain’s Watertown store. That partnership grew stronger as the 1,100-square-foot adoption center was made possible by a grant from the Petco franchise totaling more than $200,000.

The adoption center has a 300-square-foot play area for dogs, along with separate spaces to house up to 40 kittens and cats, four dogs and a range of small pets including hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits and chinchillas. Animals up for adoption are sold at about half the cost of the store’s prices. All of the proceeds from those purchases will flow directly to the SPCA, 25056 Water St.

“We couldn’t afford this kind of exposure or space if it weren’t for the generosity of Petco,” Mr. Marlow said. The SPCA is charged a $1 yearly rental fee for the adoption center space.

Amber L. Manson, Petco assistant manager, said Petco covers the cost of most supplies at the adoption center.

Most small animals are accepted at the adoption center, but all dogs and cats must be dropped off first at the shelter’s Water Street offices to be spayed or neutered and receive microchips and shots, among other checkups. The normal adoption fee at the adoption center is $80 for cats and $130 for dogs. A 10 percent discount is being offered this weekend, and the event continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

The adoption center at Petco is open from 10 am. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

For more information about the SPCA, visit its website, www.jeffersonspca.petfinder.com.

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