Many animal shelters are inundated with cats or dogs that might become ideal members of the family under the right conditions.

Pima Animal Care Center is doing away with its $60 adoption fee during the holidays and allowing people to take an animal for free, although adopters will still be responsible for the $15 licensing fee in the case of dogs.

While the holiday offer is a good deal for would-be pet owners, Justin Gallick, the animal care advocate at Pima Animal Care Center, said that adding a new member to a household should not be taken lightly.

People should consider important factor,s such as the time, money and commitment that the animals will require once they are taken into a home, especially since they usually live well beyond a decade.

"We have them from small breed dogs to large breed dogs, puppies, the whole gamut," Gallick said.

Gallick and other experts in the field say the long-term solution to reduce the pet overpopulation problem is to increase the number of animals that are spayed or neutered to prevent additional litters.

Pima Animal Care Center is just one of several shelters that has plenty of available animals.