Itís Thanksgiving week and the pace at animal shelters sometimes slows. Everybody is enjoying the holidays with friends and family and time for the usual things is short. At the SPCA, we like to give back in this time of giving thanks and help our animals at the same time; so we are offering two specials this week aimed at helping homeless animals and your pets.


Last week we celebrated our 100th adoption since our new facility opened. We are very happy with the support local animal lovers have shown us both in adoptions and in volunteerism. Cat socializers and dog walkers have put in lots of hard work and time with our shelter animals and the result has been more adoptions and happier animals.


To spur on even more adoptions, we are having our own Black Friday special. No, you donít need to camp outside our door at 4 a.m. looking for a great deal on a TV, but you can come out and meet a needy animal waiting for a good home.


We are offering half-price adoptions on all black dogs and cats on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. We have everything from cute kittens and puppies to seniors who are looking for a warm lap to retire on. The special includes all animals at our adoption facility, as well as all three SPCA Treasure Chest locations.


Our second way to give back is to offer another pet fair this Saturday from 10 to 1 at our new facility, located at 199 Willow Run Road in Aiken. As a reminder, if you live in the city limits of Aiken and have a pet, you are required to register them with the city. This is so your pet can be returned to you quickly after it is scanned for a microchip. The registration is free for a lifetime registration as long as your pet is up to date on its rabies vaccine, is altered and microchipped.


The county has no registration requirement, but if you need vaccinations, chipping or an appointment for a low-cost spay or neuter, come on out and enjoy the shelter at the same time.


Rabies vaccines will be available for $10. We will also offer ďcombo shotsĒ for $10 and microchips for only $15.


Ann Kinney, who heads up our Phideaux University, will be out here to offer some free basic obedience suggestions for your pet. Weíll also, as always, have affordable flea and tick medicine for your dog or cat, along with cool leashes and collars.


The pet fair is open to both dogs and cats. If you are bringing your dog, please have him on a leash. Your cat should arrive in a carrier, so she doesnít bolt when she sees a group of dogs in the same room. If you donít have a carrier, we sell cardboard ones for only $7 that you can pick up the day of the fair or even before from our front desk.


During this week of Thanksgiving, we want to take another opportunity to publicly thank the hundreds of people who gave to our capital campaign to make our new facility become a reality. We want to thank the hundreds of people who have joined us as volunteers, dedicating their time and skills to help animals in need. We are thankful for the 100 people who have adopted dogs and cats from our new facility already and to our staff members who have taken on new challenges with a great attitude. To learn how you can help, please visit our website at www.spca-albrecht.org.


Gary Willoughby is the president and CEO for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare