A friendly reminder from Festus, Hutch, and Daisy, that during this season of giving, don’t overlook your furry (or maybe not-so-furry) friends in the animal kingdom! Please help support local and national animal-related non-profits, now during the holidays and all year round!
Donate! You can give to your local animal shelter: monetary donations, food, care necessities, or even your time. If you’re thinking of donating items or food but are not sure what the shelter may need, give them a call or stop by! They usually have lists available of what they need and want for the animals.
Remember: PETS ARE NOT HOLIDAY PRESENTS!! Animals are living things, and should NOT be given to children (or adults) like some kind of toy or game. Your child may want a puppy or kitten because they’re cute and soft–or because their friend has five of them–but animals are a huge responsibility and deserve to be a part of your family. Shelters tend to see an influx of “gifted” pets in the summer, from families who thought it would be a good idea to get little Billy a dalmation puppy for Christmas.
Adding a pet to your family is a big step, and should be considered thoughtfully and researched thoroughly. Your child should be involved in the process! Make sure they understand everything involved with caring for an animal: feeding, bathing, grooming, veterinary visits, playing, exercise, sleeping, and cleaning up messes and accidents. Consider adopting from a local shelter or foster network! Puppies and kittens are cuddly and adorable, but they require a lot of supervision and training. You can just as easily find a wonderful, mild-mannered adult dog or cat who’s looking for a cozy home with a nice family like yours!
If you’re unable to have a pet in your home for whatever reason, you could volunteer your time. If your children are interested, include them in the experience! Maybe they can’t have a family pet to grow up with, but you can cultivate their love of animals while helping in your community.
An old schoolmate of mine has designed some holiday cards and is selling them on Etsy, with all the proceeds going to the Naperville Area Humane Society. You get 18 handmade cards (with envelopes) for twenty bucks! Happy “Pawlidays” to everyone!