Recently, I read in a community newpaper how shelter staff were concerned that many people are surrendering pets now due to the high cost of caring for them. Unfortunately, it is a reality that our economy is still is a fragile state and many people are either under- or unemployed. The effects of financial strain trickle down to our furry family members as well. A $100 veterinary bill that once seemed a needed expense may now seem like an impossibility. www.aspca.org/adoption/pet-care-costs.html is a webpage sponsored by the ASPCA that provides a breakdown of average yearly pet ownership costs for different animals.

The average cost of caring for your dog or cat, with recommended veterinary care, is approximately $580 to $875 per year. Costs of adopting a new pet, including purchasing of basic supplies, can run from $365-$565. Obviously, adopting a pet is a serious commitment. We at the NCSPCA ask that you be certain you are prepared to meet the costs of caring for your pet before you adopt.

If you already own a dog or cat and are struggling to meet your pet care bills, talk to our shelter staff to learn about possible sources of discounts or assistance in veterinary bills or food expenses.

Our featured pet today is Little Dude, a Miniature Pinscher-Mix who has a beautiful golden and caramel-colored coat, floppy ears, and an ever-present grin. Little Dude has a sweet disposition - he is a little on the shy side at first, but once he becomes comfortable with you, he will treat you like his best friend. Little Dude would do best with someone who has some experience with different dogs. We recommend that you come meet him and spend a little time together; perhaps go for a noontime stroll?

To learn more about Little Dude or our many other adoptable pets, please call us at 962-8604 or visit our website at www.ncspca.org. You will find the latest news about our shelter, stories of interest, informational resources, and a link to Petfinder's listing of all of our pets. You can also email us at info@ncspca.org.

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