Make your pitch for new dog, cat this weekend

Anyone looking for a new dog or cat can find a big bargain this weekend, but it’ll help if you bring along a friend who throws a wicked fastball.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s Animal Care and Control is joining with the Humane Society of Charlotte for “Sliding Into Home,” a big animal adoption event at the animal shelter in west Charlotte.

The two-day event is the first major joint venture between Animal Care and Control and the Humane Society. The two groups signed a partnership earlier this year.

“The event will have a baseball theme, and we’ll even have the Charlotte Knights’ mascot, Homer, out to visit,” said Melissa Knicely, a spokeswoman for Animal Care and Control.

Knicely said adoption fees will be discounted – at a rate that is linked to the speed of a pitch thrown by the person adopting the dog or cat.

“We’ll have a radar gun from the police, and we’ll ask people who are adopting an animal to throw a pitch,” Knicely said. “The speed of the pitch will determine the percentage of the discount.”

In other words, someone who can throw a ball at a Major League Baseball-level 90 mph will get a 90 percent discount on the adoption fee, which covers spaying or neutering, vaccinations and a microchip.

As of Thursday afternoon, Animal Care and Control had a big selection of dogs and cats for those who want to adopt. A number of cats gave birth to kittens several weeks ago, and a number of furry kittens are at the kennel. In the back of the shelter, there are even ferrets and guinea pigs.

“Sliding Into Home” will also feature a number of vendors, including food trucks. The American Red Cross will be on hand to discuss pet safety, and the National Whitewater Center will explain its facilities for pets.

“Everything is themed toward showing people how to best care for their new pets,” Knicely said.

Animal Care and Control, at 8315 Byrum Drive, will be open extended hours Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Humane Society of Charlotte also will have its kennel open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The kennel is at 2700 Toomey Ave.

The vendors and other special events will be at the Byrum Drive site only.