PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, right now could be the perfect time.

Peoria County Animal Protection Services (PCAPS) is one of 350 shelters across the country participating in Bissell Pet Foundation’s annual “Empty the Shelters” campaign.

It usually costs up to $200 to adopt a pet from PCAPS, but from now through May 13, you can adopt a cat or dog for just $50. That fee is waived for senior pets and small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs.

“It’s very important to adopt from a shelter because these animals are homeless and there’s a variety of reasons why they came in. But the bottom line is they need a family,” said PCAPS Director Kitty Yanko.

Yanko said there are a lot of benefits to pet ownership.

“When you’re in the presence of an animal, your heart rate goes down, your blood pressure is lower, you’re more relaxed and it helps people to deal with stress. Life gets tough, and so having a pet to talk to and to love and be there no matter what is really beneficial,” she said.

Yanko said it’s the ninth year they have partnered with Empty the Shelters. Their goal is to get as many animals adopted as possible, especially with kitten season around the corner.