Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pets seek homes for holiday

There are two shopping days left before Christmas to find a nice pet at Southern Pines Animal Shelter.

The last day to adopt a pet and have it home for Christmas is Monday, said Michelle Bullock, office manager at the shelter.

"(Adoption) always increases during Christmas holidays," she said. "We're very busy right now. We may adopt 40 to 50 animals by Christmas."

Southern Pines Animal Shelter has more than 100 dogs and many kittens that can be adopted today or Monday. They've even given the city a friendly reminder in the way of a few billboards around town.

"So as everyone's looking for gifts and thinking about Christmas, they (could) remember the animal shelter and the several hundred animals there that would be great gifts for someone and their family," Valerie Rachal, director of the shelter's Spay/Neuter Clinic, said.

Adult animals are $70; puppies and kittens are $75. The fee includes spay or neuter, 30 days of health care insurance, cats are checked for feline leukemia and dogs older than six months are heartworm tested.

"We're trying to get all of ours fixed and ready to go home," Bullock said. "The adoption process is about 20 to 25 minutes of paperwork."

Bullock said there are things people need to think about before adopting.

"The first thing they need to do is consider this is a lifelong thing and not just a Christmas thing," she said. "A lot of parents adopt puppies to teach a child responsibility. It's not going to happen."

She said many parents bring animals back to the shelter because children won't take care of pets.

Bullock also discourages people gifting pets without the recipient's knowledge. Instead, opt to purchase a gift certificate.

Before heading to the shelter, Bullock said to research what type of breed would work well with the family.

"There are a lot of breeds that are good for kids," she said. "We have a database that shows some of our pets. If you type in the area we're in, it also has a breed referral."

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