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Are you looking for a vacation buddy?

Huntsville Animal Services hopes you'll come and find your next vacation friend.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — With the official start of summer approaching next month, Huntsville families are making vacation and staycation plans.

Whether hitting the beach or hanging out by a backyard pool, Huntsville Animal Services (HAS) has dozens of potential vacation buddies available for adoption or foster. The shelter has also slashed adoption fees to $10 on most adult dogs, though some exclusions apply.

“People like getting out on a warm, sunny day and dogs do, too,” said HAS Director Dr. Karen Sheppard. “Unfortunately, we have become very crowded over the past few weeks, and we’re entering a critical time because we typically experience more intakes during summer months and fewer adoptions.”

Though it doesn’t happen often, Sheppard said some people who are gone for extended periods over the summer elect to surrender a dog as opposed to boarding it. Others who consider adopting or fostering often wait until after their vacation to do so.

There are also more strays during summer months because yardwork can mean more instances of outdoor gates not being latched back. When fireworks season rolls around, frightened pets often scale fences to escape.

“All these variables add up and create an urgent situation at the shelter,” Sheppard said.

Adopting may not be an option for some, which is why HAS offers options to help get pets out of the shelter temporarily. Sleepover and fostering programs allow a host to learn more about an animal. That information, along with photos of the animal, can be key to finding a permanent home.

Each adoptable pet is vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and comes with a City license and free bag of pet food. Click here to see photos, ages and descriptions of available animals.

Located at 4950 Triana Blvd. in Huntsville, the shelter is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.