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Adoptions of pets climb in promotion
Vanessa Saldivar drove to the Thomas Mayfield Regional Animal Services Facility on Crows Landing Road from Patterson to adopt a little dog. She scooped up a months old black and brown Chihuahua. Saldivar was pleased that her adoption was discounted in half for the day under a special promotion that last Thursday and Friday.

"I got lucky," said Saldivar.

Annette Patton, the executive director of the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, said Pacific Mobile, a Ceres area business, offered to make up the difference to encourage pet adoptions for the two days. The promotion - advertised on the shelter's website only - came on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the opening of the shelter west of Ceres under a new joint powers agency agreement which effectively took animal control out of the county's jurisdiction. The city of Ceres is a member of the JPA.

The promotion netted a total of 47 pet adoptions in two days. An average day sees 12-13 adoptions, said Patton.

"We did very good," said Patton.

On a normal day, anyone wanting to take home a shelter animal would have to pay $102 for dogs and $45 for a cat. Patton said that's a bargain considering each pet is spayed or neutered, has been vaccinated and micro-chipped and a one-year dog license.

"You're saving a life, yes," said Patton of those who chose adoption over a pet shop. "Because just to spay or neuter a dog at a private veterinarian will usually cost you more than $100."

Patton said it's her hope that more animals are adopted to prevent the tragedy of euthanasia. Last year the shelter destroyed 4,200 kittens, of which 3,300 were attributed to them being weened from their mothers too early.

"Pre-weened means they are less than six weeks old. They're too small and they need to be bottle fed and obviously we all cannot feed that many kittens."

In cat season, which runs March to September, the numbers of unwanted cats is "incredible" at the shelter, she said.

Approximately 3,800 dogs were euthanized. That includes dogs captured after biting people or attacking other animals.

"We can't legally adopt those out," said Patton.

The Ceres City Council learned on Monday that it had to come up with an extra $48,336 to add to the $228,624 already paid by the city for animal services in the 2010-11 fiscal year. The city's share is based on the 11.2 percent of animals which are taken to the shelter from Ceres.