Ho-Ho-Home For The Holidays

Someone as the BC-SPCA has gotten mighty clever with their new holiday campaign. For 2011 they’ve done away with tear-jerkers and brought in some humour.

Everyone likes to be home for the holidays and that’s exactly the message that the BC-SCPA wants us all to remember.

As you read this, there are currently over 4,000 pets sitting in shelters across British Columbia. Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, bunnies and guinea pigs just to name a few. While the shelters are full of staff and volunteers who happily care for and nurture these pets all year-round, the holidays are an especially difficult time of year. Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA, says that “What better gift to give a homeless animal than a caring family and a warm home? …It’s sad to think of animals spending the holidays at a shelter.

Bear in mind that both the BC-SPCA and I personally discourage giving animals as gifts at Christmas or any other time of the year. But because many people are home for an extended period of time over the holidays, it’s an optimum time to acclimatize a new animal into your family. However, here are a few things to keep in mind before you get swept away feeling sorry for that puppy in the kennel…

  • Having an animal join your family should be a joint decision between everyone that lives in your home. Visit the shelter as a family, adopt as a family.
  • Formulate a game plan for caring for your family’s new companion animal and decide when you will all take turns to feed, walk, play with, groom and nurture the animal.
  • Caring for a companion animal is a 24/7-365 job. Apart from daily care, sometimes your animal will get sick, injured, require an extra bath or just need a few more cuddles than usual. There are no time-outs with an animal.

There’s nothing more these animals would love for Christmas than to be part of a warm, loving and permanent home. You can search for animals in the BC-SPCA’s database by type, breed, sex, age and even colour. Below is a list of shelters on Vancouver Island.

  • Alberni-Clayoquot Branch – 4936 Broughton Street, Port Alberni [website]
  • Campbell River Branch – 490 Merecroft Road, Campbell River [website]
  • Comox Valley Branch – 1668 Ryan Road East, Comox [website]
  • Cowichan & District Branch – 7550 Bell McKinnon Road, Duncan [website]
  • Nanaimo Branch – 2200 Labieux Road, Nanaimo [website]
  • Parksville-Qualicum Beach & District Branch – 1565 Alberni Highway, Parksville [website]
  • Saltspring Island Branch – 540 Lower-Ganges Road, Ganges [website]
  • Victoria Branch – 3150 Napier Lane, Victoria [website]
Until December 19th you can enter to win a handmade swaddling blanket and matching burp cloth from Bonny Baby of Victoria, BC. Click here to enter now!

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