There is nothing quite like snuggling up with a cat or dog, a warm blanket, some hot chocolate and a good book on a chilly winter day. A cat purr after a stressful day is calming, like a loving embrace. And playing with a dog after a hard day can bring great joy to both parties. That is why so many people give pets as gifts for Christmas. And those sad ASPCA ads with the poor animals suffering horrible abuse and neglect. It just makes one want to gather them all up, take them home, and let them know they are loved. But pet care is a commitment. Make sure a kitten or puppy, or full-grown animal, is really wanted before giving one as a gift.
The Humane Society of Dickson County (HSDC) loves to see the animals in their care adopted to good, loving homes. It is one of the reasons for their existence. But they also want to make sure that animals given as gifts can be cared for because they see many returned in the months after the holidays. Many “gifted” pet owners return animals they do not feel they can care for. It may be that the cute kitten or puppy is no longer a cute kitten or puppy or it might be because they had no clue how much work it is to take care of a pet. It takes time and training to make a happy pet home.
Vivienne Akhdary, General Manager HSDC, told WKRN that people like to surprise their kids or parents with new pets, but that when reality sets in, the unwanted pets come back.
A pet must become a part of the family. Just like people they need food, love, attention, and meaningful interaction. Puppies and kittens are just learning. They scratch things and make mistakes. Even older pets don’t always stay off the furniture or follow all of the house rules. They don’t pick up after themselves. And they can be expensive.
Successful pet ownership is about doing the research. “Make a wise decision on what you’re doing,” Akhdary told WKRN. “You’re talking about a ten to 15-year commitment to something if you do it right.”
If long-term pet ownership is not possible, HSDC is always looking for volunteers to help with the animals living at their facilities. They also need people to foster animals until they can find them a home. Fostering is a commitment, but usually for a few months, not years.
For those who love animals, but do not have the time to volunteer or care for a pet, they always need donations. HSDC is 99.75% self-funded. This means they rely heavily on the generosity of pet-lovers who want to do something about the abandoned and homeless dogs and cats in the community.
HSDC provides food, toys, maintenance supplies, health care and love for each and every one of their shelter pets. Just like everything else in the world, these much-needed goods are getting more expensive. And they have more animals than usual in the shelter. Giving a donation to the shelter in the name of a loved one to feed and care for these animals is a possible Christmas gift. This tax-deductible donation will allow them to continue their services to homeless dogs and cats while they wait for their forever homes. Click here to make a donation.
The HSDC’s mission is to educate the public in responsible pet ownership, to teach the importance of spaying and neutering, and to give voice and shelter to unwanted, abandoned or lost and abused animals in the community and find them forever homes.
The programs and services of the HSDC are made possible primarily through the generosity of concerned individuals, area businesses, and corporations who donate time and money. Contributions to the Humane Society of Dickson County are tax-exempt as the organization falls under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.