Finding the ‘purrfect’ holiday gift may just be Man’s Best Friend
…Just make sure you’re prepared!
Friends of League City Animal Shelter (FLCAS), a 501(c)3 non-profit cat and dog foster organization finds that the Holiday Season is one of its most adoptable times of the year. However, the only issue FLCAS has with this time of year, is the fear that some new owners may return a pet because it didn’t meet their expectations, the animal wasn’t well-received by the recipient, or they simply changed their minds after making an impulse decision while holiday gift shopping.
Now I’m sure we’ve all thought of surprising a loved one with that perfect, four-legged holiday gift this year, but how many of us have actually stopped to think about the commitment adopting, or rather giving a pet as a gift entails? How many of us considered all the angles associated with pet gift giving before making the final decision? And how many more of us regret giving or getting a new pet over the holidays because they realized it was too crazy of a time to introduce a new pet into the family?
Take for example the following:
We’ve all seen it in the movies – a cute little girl or boy trots down the stairs in their Christmas pajamas, still a little sleepy-eyed from staying up all night hoping to catch Santa leaving presents under the tree. Then, as they round the corner they find a new puppy with a red ribbon around its collar happily waiting by the Christmas tree. The child squeals in delight and rushes over to wrap their arms around their new best friend. Now if you were to see the deleted scenes of this movie, chances are the new puppy would prove to be too much of a responsibility for the child at their age, or it may have snapped at the child for almost chocking the life out of it when she/he wrapped their arms around the puppy. The end result, mom and dad are terrified of the near “attack” and promptly take the new pet back to the animal shelter and say that it was “aggressive.”
I will leave the rest of the scenario to you, but as you can imagine the chaos associate with the holidays, only adds stress for the new pet and may cause them to react in a negative way.
“The holidays are a hectic time, and we want everyone to carefully consider their options before adopting an animal close to the holidays,” said Monica Millican, volunteer coordinator for FLCAS.
“We want to ensure everyone considering adopting this holiday season is aware that this time of year may prove too stressful for a new addition to the family,” she said.
Generally, FLCAS has between 15-30 animals available for adoption on PetFinder.com at any given time, and even more who are too young to be adopted out. In fact, FLCAS acquires additional shelter pets during the season to accommodate the high demand for kittens and puppies. Even though FLCAS gets more adoptable animals during the holiday season, they still want to make the public aware that adopting around the holidays may not be the merriment they expect it to be unless they’ve planned out the adoption ahead of time.
So, FLCAS suggests that before you adopt your new pet that you should get your family involved in deciding the species, type and size of the animal you would consider. Take a trip to the bookstore or library, and read up on which animal's characteristics might fit in best with your family. Then, head over to your local animal shelter, and check out all of the great animals available for adoption, or browse their animals online at PetFinder.com.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, each year millions of dogs enter shelters, yet of the approximately 59 million owned dogs in this country, less than 20 percent are shelter adoptees. By adopting at a rescue or shelter, you're giving a homeless pet a new chance at life, or even a second chance for a few whose owners didn’t want them.
If you’re still unsure about adopting from an animal shelter, consider this. The cost is low, and there are often discounts on spaying and neutering. The animal shelters and foster organizations, like FLCAS, also have a great selection of pets with the knowledge to help make sure you're getting the right animal for your family. In fact, many of them even offer purebred pets. FLCAS currently has Blue Russians, Chihuahuas and Schnauzers available for adoption, including countless other mix breeds that are just as highly coveted as their purebred foster mates.
FLCAS suggests that instead of making it a surprise, that you should get your whole family involved by looking at pictures and profiles on PetFinder.com.
“You can turn the whole experience into a memorable time for the kids,” Millican said. “Sure it’s fun to surprise them, but it can be just as much fun to have the kids be a part of the entire process.”
But if you’re still not convinced to let the family in on the excitement, Monica suggests that alternative you purchase a stuffed cat or dog, and place it under the tree with of the animal’s necessities, such as a bed, food and water dishes, toys, etc. This way when the kids come down looking to tear through holiday gifts, they’ll stop and truly be surprised (and possibly confused) by what’s under the tree. Then, you can all pile into the car and go pick up the new addition to your family.
In fact, FLCAS has even agreed to let new adopters pick up their new friend (or friends) on Christmas Day. Monica says that they will not allow adoptions to occur the day of, but that those who adopt an animal prior to Christmas morning will have the option to leave the animal with the foster parent until they are better prepared to take it home on Christmas.
“FLCAS doesn’t want anyone to go without his or her new companion over the holidays,” she said. “We only want ensure the animals find a loving home.”
If you are interested in fostering and/or adopting a friend this holiday season, please visit www.FriendsOfLeagueCityAnimalShelter.org or e-mail Monica Millican at firstname.lastname@example.org. See all of their adoptables at www.PetFinder.com/shelters/TX1363.html and get a head start at finding your new friend this holiday season.
Friends of League City Animal Shelter is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose purpose is to increase the number of adoptions to qualified homes, to recruit and train additional foster home caregivers for animals pending adoption, to promote the spaying and neutering of animals, and to provide volunteer assistance and funding to the League City Animal Shelter to support the humane care and treatment of animals.