JoAnna Lou
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Adoptions Increase This Holiday Season
Shelters report higher adoption rates for December
Volunteers in New York City walked around busy Fifth Avenue to increase awareness for adoptable pups.

Many shelters around the country are reporting higher adoption rates this holiday season. This is great news, although Christmas isn’t exactly the best time to bring home a new animal. I know many families want to surprise their kids with a puppy or kitten, but I can’t even imagine bringing home a new pet with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Nonetheless, I’m happy to see people adopt instead of visiting a pet store.

Some of these shelters have been running special “Home for the Holidays” promotions to encourage people to adopt. In California, the Sacramento SPCA, City of Sacramento Animal Care Services, Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation and Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary teamed up to slash adoption fees in half with a goal of adopting out 1,000 pets by the end of the year. The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals created greater awareness for homeless pets by sending had volunteers in Santa costumes walk around the streets of New York with dogs for adoption.   

I’m glad to hear that adoptions are up at shelters, but hope next year families will think twice about adopting during the holiday season. Waiting sets a good example for the kids and they get to help pick out the new addition!




JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by heypatrick/flickr.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Frances | December 30 2010 |

I entirely agree that a hectic family holiday is not the best time to bring a new pet home - but on a more positive note let's remember that most people have several days off work at this time of year. Using those days to ease a new dog into the family may be a very good idea for all concerned.

Submitted by Pamela | December 30 2010 |

Adopting over the holidays draws a lot of passion. I don't think it's a bad idea for everyone. I just hope the shelters are doing a good job vetting the adoptive families.

I've twice waited until after the holidays to bring a new dog into my home. But as the childless family, we're the ones usually expected to travel. Adopting a dog in December would be a disaster for us.

But for some homebodies, it might be terrific.

Submitted by D | December 30 2010 |

My local Humane Society encourages people to give "Adoption Certificates" in lieu of getting the pet. Then the recipient can return to choose the pet of their choice.
I agree that for some adopters the end of December can be a great time to adopt simply because they don't observe Christmas and therefore don't experience the hustle and bustle. December 25 is just a bonus day off work. On a side note, the pups in the photo are adorable!

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