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Sylva pet store is helping shelter animals find homes with a unique program

The owners of Fish and More Pet Store, in Sylva, are proud to be the first pet store in the state to begin "adopting out" rescued dogs, cats, kittens and puppies from shelters across the state. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The owners of Fish and More Pet Store, in Sylva, are proud to be the first pet store in the state to begin "adopting out" rescued dogs, cats, kittens and puppies from shelters across the state.

Alisha Ladowski, who owns the store with her husband, Chris, said they've been working for two years to get the program in place.

"It's been something we've been wanting to do for a long time," said Alisha. "I think the goal across the country is to eliminate puppy mills altogether."

By making the choice to sell puppies from county shelters, Alisha's hope is it will lower sales and demand from puppy mill operators across North Carolina.

The store has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to convert to the "adoption model" of offering dogs and cats for an adoption fee of $199. Ladowski said they came up with that price knowing similar adoption programs charge up to $400. The Ladowskis thought $199 would be a fair adoption price for their market.

The store pays about $30 per animal to a given shelter and $50 to spay or neuter the dog or cat. The store covers food, shelter and medicines such as flea prevention while the animals are in their care and up for adoption.

The program will include adult dogs and cats, as well. The goal is to improve adoption rates for abandoned dogs and cats, puppies and kittens.

Fish and More Pet Store will have an adoption event noon-5 p.m. Oct. 28. A ribbon cutting will be 1 p.m. that same day at Fish and More Pet Store, 310 E. Main St. in Sylva.

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