Generous Donation Gives Senior Pets a Second Chance; Adoption Fees Waived for All Cats & Dogs Over Six Months Old

Julie Stolzer (left) shakes hands with Michelle Phillips-Pratt, Animal Services Receiving/Kennel Supervisor.
Julie Stolzer (left) shakes hands with Michelle Phillips-Pratt, Animal Services Receiving/Kennel Supervisor.

A generous donation from a local resident is making adoption even more affordable and has Adopt a Senior Pet Month feeling extra special this year! After hearing about overcrowding at the Wake County Animal Center, former volunteer Julie Stolzer immediately wrote a check for $5,000 – making it possible to waive the adoption fees for any cat or dog more than six months old.

“I have three dogs of my own now and wasn’t able to adopt more, but I felt if I gave money so that people would not have to pay, that might encourage more people to adopt,” said Stolzer, who’s been a hospice nurse for the past two decades and volunteered at the center 15 years ago. “There are tough times and I hope to help these innocent animals. Even if you can’t adopt, there are still ways to help. I am ready to donate more money next week if needed and hope others might consider too. Any amount helps.”

Cats and dogs are considered “senior” when they are more than 8 years old, and sadly they often get passed over. As of Monday, six senior dogs are waiting in the shelter to find their forever homes. Another four senior dogs are in foster care and ready to find permanent homes. There are no senior cats available for adoption at this time.

“Ask anybody who has adopted a senior dog or cat, and they'll swear their bond with their adopted pal is as deep as they come,” said Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson. “When you open your heart and home to an older dog or cat who needs help, they really do show their appreciation for the rest of their life. Plus, they’re usually always already potty-trained!”

The Wake County Animal Center has seen 92 adoptions since first putting out the call on Halloween that the shelter was over capacity. But there are still 28 cats, 51 dogs, two guinea pigs and one rat are waiting for adoption at the center. In foster, there are an additional seven cats, 13 dogs, three guinea pigs and two rabbits awaiting their forever families.

While everyone adores puppies and kittens, senior and adult pets are a great choice for adoption because they have already settled into their traits and personalities, so that helps take the guesswork out of wondering how they’ll fit in with your family or lifestyle. Adopting from foster care families can also make the transition easier since foster parents can share what to expect after living with these dogs and cats in their homes.

“Adopting a senior pet brings an entirely different level of satisfaction,” said Jennifer Federico, Wake County Animal Center Director. “When you adopt a senior, you’re saving a life. In return, you’ll get an amazing companion.”

Ordinarily, adoption fees are $95 for dogs, $45 for cats under 5 years old, and $15 for cats older than 5. Currently the cost is $0. All animals adopted from the center are spayed or neutered and microchipped prior to going home with their new family.

And remember, the Animal Center receives new animals every day. Check our adoption gallery for an up-to-date look at the animals ready to call your house their home.

Ready to adopt! Check out our adoption gallery or come by and see the sweet faces for yourself! The shelter is open for adoptions daily from noon to 6 p.m., seven days a week. The Wake County Animal Center is located at 820 Beacon Lake Drive, near the intersection of I-440 and New Bern Ave. in Raleigh.

The Wake County Animal Center is the only open admission shelter in Wake County that never turns away animals, including stray, abandoned and surrendered pets. The shelter treats and re-homes thousands of homeless animals every year.

Press Release