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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Officials at North Carolina State University are dedicating a new $72 million hospital in Raleigh.

Friday’s ceremony is for the Randall B. Terry Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the new facility is designed to treat up to 35,000 animals each year.

Medical services director Michael Davidson says there has been a change in attitudes in the past few decades to consider animals more like family members, and less like simply pets.

Davidson says owners expect and are willing to pay for high-quality health care for their animals.

The new facility is about twice as large as the school’s old animal hospital.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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