The holiday season can be lonely for shelter pets. Everyone is busy shopping, decorating, baking, and getting ready for Santa. In the winter months, we don’t have as many visitors to the shelter. 

Pet adoptions decline as the weather gets colder, but the number of adoptable dogs and cats remains high. This year our dogs are not able to attend adoption events because of the canine respiratory virus. Volunteers and staff are working hard to make sure all the pets are loved and cared for, but our goal remains to place them in homes.

There are some great reasons to adopt a dog or cat during the holidays. Adopting a pet in December means that you and your family likely have time off from work and school. The extra time at home can help you make them feel comfortable in their new space and give you time to bond. This concentrated time can help ease the transition and give you a good start on training your new family member.

hiding cat

While the excitement and chaos of a holiday may be overwhelming to some pets, you can take precautions to help. A new dog or cat in the home might be the excuse you need to have a quiet, low-key day. If you are hosting the celebration, make sure they have a space to hide until your extra loud uncle has taken his leave. Keep wrapping paper and ribbon away from them and don’t give them food that might be dangerous.

While we all dreamed of opening a box with a puppy or kitten inside on Christmas morning, we don’t recommend giving a pet as a gift. Surprising a loved one with a pet means the person hasn’t met the animal beforehand. What if it isn’t a good personality match? We believe strongly in creating bonds between specific pets and people. A surprise can lead to a complicated situation where the new pet parent is unprepared and may not feel a connection with the gifted dog or cat. Instead of surprising someone, we recommend giving them a card saying you’ll cover the costs of an adoption. You can even print photos of available dogs or cats from our website to include in the card. This way, your loved one can visit with each pet and decide which is the best fit. 

We have many dogs and cats to choose from. If you’re going out exploring in the snow, we have several active young dogs who would be great companions. Sitting by the fire reading a book or binge-watching? We have wonderful lap warmers who also purr. Kittens, older cats, young dogs, older dogs, and even a few puppies are available now or will be in the coming weeks. 

Not ready to adopt? You can make a difference by purchasing items on our wish lists, fostering a pet, volunteering, or donating to our end-of-year fundraising campaigns. We help pets because you help us.

George is one of several young lab mixes we have at the shelter. Their previous life was in a yard, where they didn’t receive a lot of attention. Our staff and volunteers are working to build their confidence and get them ready to be in family homes. Anyone who adopts one of these special dogs should be prepared to continue training and socializing them.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 pm. View our shelter pets and services online: Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives