Even if you can’t take one more animal companion into your home, there are still many things you can do this holiday season to help pets in shelters and on the streets.
You can make a cash donation to the shelter or rescue of your choice, you can check their wish lists add them to your holiday shopping list and drop off a donation of food and goods, or you may even find things you have around they house they need and can donate, like computers, DVD players and even furniture. You can also volunteer at shelters to help the staff give more love and attention to the animals there when fewer visitors are coming in.
You definitely want to avoid adopting a pet right at Christmas or Hanukkah, with all the comings and goings and doors open and shut and food everywhere, but you can make an adoption the gift by purchasing toys and beds and food, or a certificate to a shelter that pays for the adoption. And if you can’t adopt permanently, perhaps you can foster a pet over the holidays so it has a break from being in a cage and can experience being in a home, and shelter workers, having fewer animals to care for, can slow down and take a break. Read about a nationwide program called “Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays” on “A Tonk’s Tail”—you’ll meet a kitty who was adopted through this program as she tells the story!
Another thing you can do for animals is to read about the ASPCA pledge, “Don’t Shop Til They Stop”, to avoid pet supply stores that sell puppies from puppy mills. Much more an issue with dogs than with cats, though kitten mills are not unknown, pet stores often purchase puppies from “puppy factory farms” that keep breeding dogs and puppies caged often in filthy conditions with no light or heat and inadequate food, not to mention no interaction with humans.
The two kittens shown above were up for adoption at the pet supply store where I shop which only has rescued cats for adoption in the store and rescued dogs at special events. Even if you aren’t purchasing a puppy, taking your dollars away from a store that sells puppies from a puppy mill will make a difference to the shop owner, even if it’s a corporation. Read more about the pledge and watch a video on Bunny’s Blog and read about a puppy stolen from a pet store in New Jersey and enter for a chance to win a bag of swag from the ASPCA on CatWisdom 101.
And with your own pets and those of people you visit, be extra cautious during the holiday season that they don’t escape when they aren’t supposed to, they don’t eat or drink something they shouldn’t and they don’t indulge in your holiday decorations! Please read Pet-proofing for the Holidays and Holiday Pet Safety, and visit A Tonk’s Tail for Monday Medical: Pet Safety for Chanukah for tips and information about what’s good and bad for your pets, and make sure you can all enjoy your shopping, your events, family and all the holidays bring.
Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy this Holiday Season.
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