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Get some big dog love for free

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Little compares to the companionable feeling of a big, sleepy dog climbing up on the couch and dozing off in your lap.

For all it costs to maintain a big shepherd, retriever or other large breed, it all seems worth it in moments like that.

This week, owning a big dog’s going to be even more of a bargain as a coalition of six area animal shelters offers free big-dog adoptions Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the PetSmart at 1591 Bradley Park Drive in Columbus.

It’s a good deal because adoptions usually cost money: At PAWS Humane in Columbus, for example, the going price is $75 for dogs older than six months and $125 for younger ones.

Besides those savings, all the dogs needing a home this weekend will be neutered, micro-chipped and vaccinated, so new owners won’t bear those expenses, either.

Usually those adopting dogs have to provide their own leashes and collars.

“However, for this specific event, each adoption comes with a free collar and leash, and PetSmart is offering a free 30-minute obedience consult with every adoption,” said Casey Smith, marketing director for PAWS.

The coalition is hoping to adopt out 40 dogs, each weighing more than 30 pounds, as large dogs are considered “the most at risk” in animal shelters, because these days more people want little dogs.

Why is that?

“Either they are too hyper, too big for their children, too active for their lifestyle, and the list goes on,” Smith said. “What most people don't realize is that once you get the dog out of the shelter, they act completely different. ...

They are the same as small dogs, only bigger, which basically means they just have more love to give.”

Besides PAWS Humane, the organizations in the Pet Coalition of Muscogee and Harris Counties are the Animal SOS foundation, Columbus Animal Care & Control, Animal Ark, the Humane Society of Harris County and Harris County Animal Control.

It’s part of PetSmart’s 2016 National Adoption Weekend. The schedule is 2-7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday; and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

All those adopting dogs will be asked a few questions to ensure they can accommodate their new pets.

PAWS is calling this the “Big Love Dog Adoption Special.”

If you’ve ever had a big dog fall asleep in your lap, you know how special that can be.

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