The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter has hundreds of adoptable animals looking for forever homes and the organization is now offering “Pay it Forward” adoption donations for those looking for a furry friend.

Now through Oct. 31, all shelter pets will be available for “Pay it Forward” donations with a suggestion of between $20 and $200. The donations can go to either the Planned Pethood Fund for low-cost spay and neuter services or the Extra Mile Fund, which offers specialty life-saving measures for homeless animals.

SCCAS has also partnered with Santa Cruz Subaru, which will donate $100 to the shelter for every dog or cat adopted in October.

The adoptions include spay/neuter, microchipping and registration, age-appropriate vaccinations, routine treatment for fleas/worm and a free pet wellness exam with a local participating vet.

The cost of care for shelter animals always exceeds the adoption fee, according to the SCCAS, but helping the neediest animals in the community “is in the heart of the shelter’s mission.”

The cost of having a pet is approximately $1,300, the shelter said, but the average cost during that first year can be $3,000.

“Pets are a lifelong commitment and the shelter wants new pet owners to understand the financial responsibility they are taking on when bringing a new pet into their family,” the SCCAS said.

To contact the shelter, call 831-454-7200 or visit the shelter at 580 Airport Blvd., Watsonville. Available animals can be viewed on the SCCAS website.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.