Christmas pet gifts are a lifetime commitment

Published 7:08 pm Friday, December 18, 2015

Puppies and kittens are very appealing. Many children ask for them as Christmas gifts. Our local animal shelter advises those considering giving a pet for Christmas to think of it as a life-time commitment and not just a bit of Christmas joy to be returned in January when the newness has worn off.

Bainbridge-Decatur County Shelter worker, Ashley White said adoptions are always up at Christmas, and it is very sad to see them coming back in January when the dog or cat has proven to be more than the family bargained for. She recommends it always be a family decision, taking into consideration who will be primarily responsible for the care and feeding of the animal and realizing you could be looking at 10 or more years with the pet.

She also puts in a plug for people to consider adopting an older dog, one that is already housebroken and past the chewing stage. The shelter has some very adoptable older dogs that deserve a good, loving home and would make good pets.

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During the month of December they are running a “Special” on all white pets, calling it their version of a white Christmas since Southwest Georgia gets no snow. There will be no adoption fee on any white pet adopted through the end of December.

The shelter has had many success stories, but two recent stories concern “older” dogs.

Elsa had been at the kennel close to four years. She came in very pregnant, had her puppies, all of which were adopted, and she remained. White explained. “She was our go-to girl for special costumes and photos. She was always so cooperative. “ She was also a comfort to incoming pets at the shelter as she was very motherly. She was adopted once and returned due to some “food protection” issues. So she stayed on as a favorite of the shelter staff. Then she was placed in a foster home with other pets and they worked with her on the food problem. As her story appeared on the shelter website and Facebook, a couple saw her and knew she was the one for them. They met with her at the foster home and recently adopted her. Now she has her own “furever” home.

The story of Bruno is also about a really great senior dog. He has been with the shelter for nearly a year. He is a handsome 10-year old with a great personality, according to White. He even placed in an area beauty contest. He left our area on November 30 to go to a rescue in Michigan, where his big dark furry coat will do a good job of keeping him warm.

The Shelter has its own wish list on Amazon for those who are not ready to adopt but would like to contribute supplies. They are always in need of dry dog food and wet cat food.

People may also contribute old linens and cleaning supplies. The needs are endless and ongoing.

White says they would love it if Santa would bring them a much-needed new building and a new transport van. The van they have is very unreliable and frequently breaks down.

Supporters of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society are planning the second annual Art for Animals to be held January 30. All proceeds from that event will go toward the fund established for construction of a new building.