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PHOENIX -- "How much is that doggie in the window?" This weekend, he's free!

The nation's largest free pet adoption event is May 31 and June 1, and in Maricopa County, 12 animal rescue groups are offering free dogs and cats at over 40 locations. Some of the participating organizations include the Arizona Animal Welfare League, HALO Animal Rescue, Maricopa Animal Care and Control, Arizona Humane Society and the Phoenix Animal Care Coalition.

Bretta Nelson, spokesperson for the Arizona Humane Society, says summer is the toughest time for shelters and rescue groups.

"It's kitten season right now, so we are just overflowing with kittens, and of course, the litters of puppies increase, as well," she said.

All pets available this weekend are spayed or neutered and up-to-date with vaccinations. Some pets will also have microchips.

By waiving all adoption fees, the ultimate goal is to place 10,000 homeless pets across the country with loving families in just one weekend. Certain Valley rescue groups, however, will also require an interview process before taking home a new pet, in addition to the standard paperwork.

The event is part of Maddie's Pet Adoption Days, inspired by a miniature Schnauzer named Maddie who brought her family so much joy and love. Maggie's Fund seeks to achieve a no-kill nation by providing solutions and aid.

This is the first year Arizona has been asked to participate. A portion of donations will also go toward Arizona's "Fix. Adopt. Save." campaign.

Lauren Berkley, Web Editor

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