Foster A Lonely Pet for the Holidays

While I rewrite A Christmas Carol
By Lisa Wogan, December 2011, Updated February 2015

I recently watched A Christmas Carol—the überschmaltzy George C. Scott version with weirdly campy ghosts of Christmas Past and Present. It got me thinking that someone needs to make a dog-centric version of this holiday classic—not in least part to erase this one from my memory banks.

Scrooge would be a lonely old man, running a huge puppy mill. His visit to Christmases Past would flash on young Scrooge playing with a beloved family pup (his only friend) and then 20-something Scrooge dumping his best buddy at a shelter to take his first big job in another city.

For Christmas Present, he’d be forced to witness the destitute breeder moms in their cages and visit a home where children are surprised with the gift of one of his mill dogs, blissfully unaware of the incipient signs of temperament and health issues Scrooge can’t ignore.

Christmas future? Well, that’s a puppy mill raid on Christmas Day, which means rotting away in prison for Mr. Scrooge (this is a future where cruelty laws have real teeth). But, of course, he is redeemed when he wakes. The old black-hearted villain converts his acreage into a cage-free animal sanctuary, pours his ill-gotten gains into lobbying against puppy mills, and surrounds himself with healthy, happy rescue pups. Sigh.


Sign up and get the answers to your questions.

Email Address:

Write your own Christmas miracle script this year through’s “Foster A Lonely Pet for the Holidays” Program. Now in its third year, the program aims to “empty out animal shelters from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.”

The goal of the program is to spread awareness about fostering and find temporary homes for adoptable pets while giving shelter workers and volunteers a much-needed break. A list of participating shelters and rescue groups can be found at

A short-term foster is a wonderful way to capture the spirit of the season, learn how fostering works and maybe discover you like it and want to continue, which could lead to a very happy new year for a pup or two.

Photo courtesy and the Alabama SPCA. Learn more about Freckles.

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of several books including Dog Park Wisdom.