RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County is announcing a new initiative to help pets get the care they need at an affordable price.

Organizers said their Community Pet Days will feature rabies shots, microchipping and health services for pets.

For families, they’ll have information about how to find affordable pet food and supplies.

The goal is to keep pets and families together and prevent surrenders back to animal shelters.

“We’ve seen the gamut, from ‘I had a new baby’, to ‘I had to go back to work and I’m not home anymore to provide the care that my pet needs or the exercise they need,'” says Dr. Jennifer Federico, animal services director at the Wake County Animal Center.

Dr. Federico says nearly one out of three pets that come through the shelter’s doors are surrendered because owners can’t afford to keep them. Right now, she says surrender appointments are booking out three-to-four weeks in advance.

She says families and pets are happiest when they can stay together.

“Look at the reasons you’re surrendering,” she suggests. “Are there things you can do or modify? Maybe you don’t have to. Maybe it’s just getting some training information. Maybe it’s having a family member help out. Just because your dog doesn’t have a yard doesn’t mean that’s not a great home for them.”

She encourages families to take advantage of Community Pet Days to get discounted services for pets.

Those services include:

  • Rabies shots for $5
  • Microchipping for $10
  • Wellness exams, including DHPP (a combination vaccine that provides protection against five dog diseases) / FVRCP (a combination vaccination for cats) vaccines for $10
  • Spay/neuter voucher information
  • Rabies education and prevention materials
  • Wake County Health and Human Services program information.

The Community Pet Days are scheduled for four Sundays from this weekend through November.

Their locations are as follows:

Organizers said payment is cash only and attendees are encouraged to bring exact change. They said services will be available on first-come, first-served basis.