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Christmas Giving- Remembering our Furry Friends At The Animal Shelter!

Updated on November 30, 2011

In The Spirit Of Giving

The holiday season put us in such a giving frame of mind. We feel blessed and thankful and want to share our love and gratitude with our friends and family- sometimes even complete strangers! It's such a busy time of year that the hustle and bustle of choosing gifts, baking treats and decorating our homes are often the reasons why we find "time to do charitable things" as the last item on our list. Yet, when you think of it, you realize that it's the "giving" part of the holidays that make us feel most satisfied. Nothing is as wonderful as seeing a smile on the faces of the ones we love because of something we did.

But what about our neglected and abandoned furry friends? They don't have the vocabulary to ask for help or to say thank you, making it much easier for us to forget about all the animals in need. There are many things you can do to help these animals and it's as easy as adding your local shelter to your holiday gift giving list.

Ways To Help

Donate supplies that shelters use such as: newspapers, old blankets and towels, cat and dog toys, pet food, litter boxes, brushes, water bowls, pens, paper, cleaning supplies or any other item you think might help with the day to day operations of an animal shelter

Volunteer to walk animals that live in the shelters or ask if there are any known pets in the neighbourhood that need walked because of owner illnesses or disabilities that may prevent the dogs from being walked. Maybe you have an elderly neighbour with a pet who could use help exercising their dog.

Attend garage sales or flea markets hosted by shelters. Make monetary donations or donate crafts or items for them to sell at their function.

Make sure your pets are spayed or neutered and encourage you friends, family and neighbours to do the same

Start or support a Tag Awareness Day. Shelters spend a lot of time and resources trying to unite pets with their owners. Raising awareness of the importance of ID tags is a great way to show support for your local animal shelter.

Why Giving Pets As Gifts Is Not Always A Good Idea

Sure, giving a cute little puppy wrapped in a big red bow seems like the perfect gift for someone you love. Not always! There are many reasons to think twice about giving pets as gifts:

The person may not want the responsibility of a pet

The person may already have pets and wasn't looking to expand the family

The person may not have the financial resources to feed the pet and cover the other costs associated with owning a pet

Yes they are super cute when little, but pets require a very huge commitment. Sometimes a commitment of 15 years or more.

Children may beg and plead for a pet but not be responsible enough or mature enough to care for the pet properly. Pets require proper training and exercise. Who is going to be walking the pet and cleaning up after it?

The bottom line is, that even though they are cute and cuddly, they require work, a lot of work! A pet should never be a last minute decision or a decision taken lightly. It is a proven fact that the majority of pets who were given as surprise gifts are most likely the ones who wind up in animal shelters. Please think twice about giving a pet as a gift and please think twice about remembering our furry friends this Christmas and throughout the entire year.


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    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much. It breaks my heart as well. We are currently living in a Condo dt Vancouver, so we are waiting until we find a house before we add a dog to our family, but I can hardly wait. The have so much love to give. I'm sorry you aren't able to have one but I agree they are wonderful company.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      This is such a very important message about our furry little friends and gift-giving. My heart breaks when I see animals that someone did not want put in shelters. I would so love to have a little dog to keep me company and sleep on my bed at night -- however, I cannot have a pet for several reasons so have to give up that joy. Thank you for writing this hub -- it is very well-written and carries an important message to all.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      I think getting a pet from a shelter is a great idea. They need loving homes. It breaks my heart to think of them locked up in cages with no one to love them. The people who work at shelters are giving and caring but it's just not the same as having an "owner". We will be getting our next pet from a shelter.

      Thank you epigramman, love that you called them your two best they had Bob Marely on?

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ....really nice selection of hubs here my fellow Canadian - you do the Canadian contingent here proud with your work - and yes a lovely heartfelt hub from you - as my two best friends are Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel and they receive the gift of love everyday from their big daddy - lake erie time ontario canada 5:29am so nice to meet you and just arrived home from night shift to the sounds of Bob Marley

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      I love our furry friends, so let's not forget about them. Six years ago my husband gave me a dog from a shelter. That is another avenue - if you are going to give an animal, and you know it is want, well received and will be cared for, adopting an animal in need of a home is a great way to go!

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Lady_E. Hope others remember our furry friends as well.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Great Idea.

      Pets are important too.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Definitely from the heart, animals hold a special place there. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ElizabethJane555 profile image

      ElizabethJane555 6 years ago

      Wonderful . Can tell you wrote this from the heart.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      So true zzron. Younger children often do lose interest and older one's find it to become to much responsibility. Thanks for commenting, appreciate the feedback.

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

      I agree with what you said about giving pets as gifts for the holidays. Many people are not prepared for a pet and small children may lose interest after a short while. Great advice and wonderful hub.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      So happy to hear Cresentmoon. They bring so much joy to our lives, they need to be acknowledged as well. Pets are amazing!

    • Cresentmoon2007 profile image

      Cresentmoon2007 6 years ago from Caledonia, MI

      This is a greatly written hub. I loved it. Pets are so important to me. I own a dog myself so I always love reading about ways to help our little buddies out. Voted up.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks ladies. I currently don't own a pet but the cause is very near and dear to me. They are so innocent and helpless. They deserve our love also.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      You made some valid points. Pets are a huge commitment and yes shelters need all the donations they can get. Good article

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great ideas on how not to forget our furry friends. Loved it!