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Adoption a priority for the holidays

BRADENTON — The Humane Society of Manatee County is taking several initiatives to boost dog and cat adoptions for the holidays and raise funds for animals in the shelter.

The local organization is participating with nearly 3,500 shelters from around the world in the annual Iams Home 4 the Holidays in hopes of placing 1.5 million pets into homes for the holidays.

“With as many as 8 million homeless pets, it is important everyone get involved to help save an orphaned animal this holiday season,” said Denise Deisler, executive director. “We’re proud to be a part of this amazing campaign and are dedicated to helping reach our pet adoption goal so 1.5 million homeless animals can experience a happy life with their new, loving family.”

Adoption fees for all dogs and cats will be reduced to $55, which is $20 off the regular adoption cost. All animals have been spayed or neutered, microchipped, are up to date on vaccinations and come with 30 days free pet insurance.

The Humane Society’s spay/neuter clinic is offering special discounts on male dog neuters in December. Owners bringing in two dogs will pay $55 for the first dog and the second dog will be neutered for free. The offer is available only to Manatee County residents and there are no income qualifications.

The clinic is still offering free spay or neuter surgery for pit bulls and pit bull mixes to Manatee County residents.

To raise funds for the shelter, the Humane Society and the Polo Grill & Bar in Lakewood Ranch are sponsoring a signing party for its Passions & Paws 2010-11 calendar 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop.

Many of the calendar models will be there to autograph calendars, which will be on sale for $20.

Inspired by the 2003 movie “Calendar Girls,” each month features a revealing yet tasteful photo of 15 of Manatee County’s prominent women of business and industry posing with their pets. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Manatee County.

Animals available for adoption can be seen at www. and at the shelter at 2515 14th St. W., Bradenton. For more information about adoption, call (941) 747-8808, ext. 313, or e-mail info@humane

For information on spaying or neutering or to make an appointment, call (941) 747-8808, ext. 302, or e-mail info@humanesociety