RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Looking for a free dog? The time is now but don't wait too long.
The Wake County Animal Center said it is facing a "critical situation" as it nears capacity. To ease the burden, the shelter is waiving adoption fees for dogs that have been living in shelter pens for 21 days or more.
The promotion lasts this week and ends June 12.
"We had tremendous success with our last long-timer campaign, with 32 dogs finding forever homes over just a 10-day period at the beginning of May -- we know Wake County can come to the rescue again," said Wake County Board of Commissioner Cheryl Stallings. "Our community continues to show incredible support for our animals and our shelter - it's the only one in Wake County that does not turn any animals away."
The center has 95 dogs on the adoption floor, 32 in foster care, and another 44 in staff-only areas.
Of those 95 dogs, 45 have been waiting in the shelter for more than three weeks.
You can view those animals at pets.wake.gov. They have an orange featured button under their photos.
Adoption fees are typically $95 for dogs, $45 for cats younger than 5 and $15 for cats older than 5.
Before leaving the center, all dogs receive spay/neuter surgery, microchipping and required vaccinations.
"While our staff and wonderful volunteers work to give the animals under our care all the attention and love we can, living for weeks on end in an animal shelter is not healthy for any animal -- physically or mentally," said Dr. Jennifer Federico, Wake County Animal Center Director. "Double-sided enclosures help prevent the spread of disease, especially for young animals and those recently admitted to shelters. When we have to move to single enclosures, we're putting these pets at risk, but we do not have any other option."
Ready to adopt? Check out the adoption photo gallery or visit the shelter. The center is open for adoptions daily from noon to 6 p.m. seven days a week. The Wake County Animal Center is at 820 Beacon Lake Drive near I-440 and New Bern Avenue.