The state's two largest no-kill animal shelters have teamed with PetSmart Charities to boost their standings in a national adoption challenge, which could net them $100,000 from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). More importantly, it could mean the difference between life and death for hundreds of homeless animals yet to be rescued.

Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) and HALO Animal Rescue comprise the only Arizona team competing in a nationwide challenge that runs through Oct. 31. Out of 44 competitors, the Arizona team currently ranks among those that have saved the most lives.

AAWL & SPCA and HALO hope to find forever homes for 200 dogs and cats during a special adoption event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at PetSmart Corporate Headquarters, 19601 N. 27th Ave. During the event, adoption fees will be $5 for cats, $25 for kittens, $25 for dogs and $50 for puppies. All animals will be spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Each adopter will receive free samples of dog or cat food and kitty litter, courtesy of Purina Pro Plan and Tidy Cats when they adopt a dog, cat, puppy or kitten during the event.

In addition to adopting, people can sign up as a friend of the Arizona team on the ASPCA "Save More Lives Community" at http://challenge.aspcapro.org/ and comment on the team's blog.

For more information about how to help AAWL & SPCA and HALO in the $100K Challenge, go to www.aawl.org or call (602) 273-6852, ext. 116, or www.halorescue.org at (602) 971-9222.

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