Published: Dec 07, 2013 8:50 AM EST
Updated: Dec 07, 2013 9:08 AM EST

North Fort Myers, Fl. -- Perhaps a certain wish list includes a new family pet, and if you are in the market for a cute and cuddly critter, consider adopting from a local shelter. Southwest Florida animal shelters are filled to the brim with cats and dogs in need of loving homes, and the Animal Refuge Center (ARC) in North Fort Myers is no different. Betty Hughes from ARC joined WINK News Weekend Saturday morning to share the benefits of adopting a shelter animal.

ARC is a no-kill shelter that houses 450 cats and dogs on 22 acres. The cats and dogs live in houses, complete with air conditioning. The dog houses even have wading pools and yards. By the way each adoption of a dog includes four training sessions.

If you can't adopt a pet this season but want to help, you can sponsor an animal. $15 feeds one animal for an entire month.

ARC's 14th Annual Lights of Love will be Sunday, December 15th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Market Plaza at Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers. Approximately 2,000 lights are illuminated to remember pets who have passed on and those who still bring us joy today. A donation of $15 is asked for a light. Live music will be provided by Michael Pick.

For more information on the Animal Refuge Center, visit