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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was raining cats, dogs and rabbits at Animal Friends on Friday as the shelter welcomed new pets for its annual “New Year’s Rescue” event.

Each year, the shelter takes in cats, dogs and rabbits from smaller shelters throughout the region and puts them up for adoption in Pittsburgh.

Shannon Tremblay, the direction of communications for Animal Friends, says the animals are taken in from shelters in rural regions that may not get as much foot traffic as Animal Friends.

The event helps lessen overcrowding at those smaller shelters, which allows them to take in more animals in their region, and it gives the adoptable pets another chance at finding a forever home.

“It’s this great symbiotic relationship of us all working together to help more homeless pets,” Tremblay said.

The animals will be spayed and neutered, vaccinated and checked out by a vet before being listed on the Animal Friends website: thinkingoutsidethecage.org

All of the pets taken in as part of the “New Year’s Rescue” will have dessert-themed names.

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