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Give a Homeless Cat or Dog a Gift of Good Cheer


The holidays are a wonderful time of year, full of excitement , expectation, and celebration.

But for many it's also a difficult time. This is especially true for anyone not blessed with a close, supportive family, or those physically separated from loved ones.

Consider, among these unlucky souls, the four legged ones who have to spend their holidays--all of their days, in fact--at the local ASPCA or animal shelter. These poor creatures have little to look forward to besides hoping that some nice family will adopt them some day.

Pets need new games, new toys, new smells and experiences, and above all, exercise to be happy. Dogs and cats in shelters can get depressed, lose their appetites, and become more susceptible to illness.

I was pondering this recently, when a light bulb turned on in my head (figuratively, not literally). "Why not get all these lonely and stressed-out souls together?", I thought.

Now, I'm not implying that everyone who's feeling a little despondent or stressed during the holidays should run out and adopt a pet. Bringing home a new dog or cat is a serious commitment and should be done for the right reasons, and with plenty of forethought. But there are other ways to bring the gift of good cheer.

A lifting of the spirits is not only a rewarding gift to give, but is good medicine for animals and people alike. A happier animal is a healthier animal, and probably a more adoptable one. And a happier human is not only healthier, but more apt to enjoy the season of giving.

What could be more uplifting for both dog and human than bringing some inexpensive "kitty or doggie gift baskets" to a local shelter, and watching the residents enjoy them? You -- or the "holiday-challenged" people in your life-- could fill up a basket (or two, or three!) with healthy pet treats, amusing toys, or comfy blankets. You might want to check first to see if the shelter in your area allows this, or if they have a need for particular items.

If cat or dog gift baskets aren't an option, offer to take a canine resident for a walk. I recently learned about a retired couple who does this on a regular basis. They spend their entire day at the local shelter, making sure that every single dog has been walked. The couple does this twice a week, all year round. The dogs love it, and it's wonderful exercise for all concerned.

I know what you're thinking. But you don't have to do anything as time-consuming as all that. Just show up once or twice. A walk and some fresh air is a great way to alleviate holiday stress and you're sure to catch some of the light-hearted spirit that radiates from a happy dog. Tell a friend about it. Maybe they'll give it a try. Some might be inspired enough to become "hometown heros", like the couple mentioned above.

You might know an older retiree who considers dog ownership too much of a burden, but wouldn't mind taking a dog for a walk. If it's a friend or family member who walks but no longer drives, perhaps you could volunteer to drop them off and pick them up.

Giving freely of ourselves is one of best gifts we can give. But if all of this seems too time consuming, then a small financial donation would still go a long way. Lots of shelters have fund raisers this time of year, and odds are you won't have to look far to find one. In the end, caring is what really matters.

© 2004, Carolyn Schweitzer. Lifelong dog-lover, power-shopper, and former family dentist Carolyn Schweitzer is owner and editor of Great-Dog-Gift.com . The site offers a wide range of choices for dog gift shoppers, plus shopping and gift-giving tips. (Also advice on dog care and feeding.) She's always looking for new dog gift ideas and dog stories to share with her readers. You can reach her by email at [email protected].


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Thu. May / 06 / 2021

How to prepare your pets for your return to work - Times Union
How to prepare your pets for your return to work  Times Union

The best hip and joint supplement for pets - WKRG News 5
The best hip and joint supplement for pets  WKRG News 5

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021 - NBC News
8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021  NBC News

Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest - Dayton Daily News
Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest  Dayton Daily News

Paws to Consider: Pet guardianships - Sequim Gazette
Paws to Consider: Pet guardianships  Sequim Gazette

A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved' - Chicago Tribune
A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved'  Chicago Tribune

Kern County Animal Services offering $20 adoptions on all ready-to-go pets - KGET 17
Kern County Animal Services offering $20 adoptions on all ready-to-go pets  KGET 17

Keeping your pets healthy and calm on your next trip - FOX 9
Keeping your pets healthy and calm on your next trip  FOX 9

Pets Of The Week | San Marcos Record - San Marcos Daily Record
Pets Of The Week | San Marcos Record  San Marcos Daily Record

Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need - 13WHAM-TV
City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need  13WHAM-TV

Your pets can have allergies too - FOX 5 NY
Your pets can have allergies too  FOX 5 NY

‘Pets are going to be safe:’ Muskegon shelter moving animals away from antiquated location - MLive.com
‘Pets are going to be safe:’ Muskegon shelter moving animals away from antiquated location  MLive.com

Missouri Bill Would Allow Restraining Orders to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors - PEOPLE
Missouri Bill Would Allow Restraining Orders to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors  PEOPLE

Pet-friendly designs to incorporate into your home - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Pet-friendly designs to incorporate into your home  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week - WOODTV.com
Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week  WOODTV.com

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire - WJHL-TV News Channel 11
Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire  WJHL-TV News Channel 11

Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community - The Leader
Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community  The Leader

After neighbor reportedly kills 2 pets, Warren County families desperate for police help - KMOV.com
After neighbor reportedly kills 2 pets, Warren County families desperate for police help  KMOV.com

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire - Kankakee Daily Journal
Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire  Kankakee Daily Journal

Getting Pets Ready for Hurricane Season - WFLA
Getting Pets Ready for Hurricane Season  WFLA

Looking For A Pup? Austin Pets Alive! Needs You To Adopt, Foster - Patch.com
Looking For A Pup? Austin Pets Alive! Needs You To Adopt, Foster  Patch.com

Innovative packaging designs for inventive pet food - PetfoodIndustry.com
Innovative packaging designs for inventive pet food  PetfoodIndustry.com

Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month - PRNewswire
Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month  PRNewswire

Barking news: Political pets are relevant again - uscannenbergmedia.com
Barking news: Political pets are relevant again  uscannenbergmedia.com

Megan Thee Stallion Pet Series Leads Snapchat’s Latest Original Lineup - Deadline
Megan Thee Stallion Pet Series Leads Snapchat’s Latest Original Lineup  Deadline

NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits - WPIX 11 New York
NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits  WPIX 11 New York

Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report - Forbes
Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report  Forbes

Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly - Influencive
Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly  Influencive

Adopt A Pet From Joliet Area Shelters: New Pets Added This Week - Joliet, IL Patch
Adopt A Pet From Joliet Area Shelters: New Pets Added This Week  Joliet, IL Patch

How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks - Local Profile
How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks  Local Profile

Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing - WLNS
Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing  WLNS

Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety - WWLP.com
Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety  WWLP.com

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21)  ABC15 Arizona

Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois' - Chicago Tribune
Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois'  Chicago Tribune

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller  KCBD

Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic - CNN
Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic  CNN

PETS OF WEEK: Diamond and Barrett | Community | wiscnews.com - WiscNews
PETS OF WEEK: Diamond and Barrett | Community | wiscnews.com  WiscNews

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2  Summit Daily News

Dakin Humane Society announces new online store for pets - WWLP.com
Dakin Humane Society announces new online store for pets  WWLP.com

Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda - WXII12 Winston-Salem
Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda  WXII12 Winston-Salem

Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation - Danbury News Times
Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation  Danbury News Times

Walmart releases 'super premium' private label pet foods - Pet Food Processing
Walmart releases 'super premium' private label pet foods  Pet Food Processing

Exotic pet numbers increasing nationwide | Public Safety | newspressnow.com - News-Press Now
Exotic pet numbers increasing nationwide | Public Safety | newspressnow.com  News-Press Now

Adoptable Pet of the Week - The Daily Advocate
Adoptable Pet of the Week  The Daily Advocate

BISSELL Pet Foundation Sponsors Reduced Adoption Fees Across the Country - The knoxville focus
BISSELL Pet Foundation Sponsors Reduced Adoption Fees Across the Country  The knoxville focus

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event - Focusdailynews
Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event  Focusdailynews

Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram! - POPSUGAR
Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram!  POPSUGAR

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah' - KKCO-TV
Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah'  KKCO-TV

It’s National Pet Week! - KOIN.com
It’s National Pet Week!  KOIN.com

Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally  ARLnow

Pet of the Week: Ruca & Ramona – Heart of the Rockies Radio - Heart of the Rockies Radio
Pet of the Week: Ruca & Ramona – Heart of the Rockies Radio  Heart of the Rockies Radio

Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15 - Patch.com
Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15  Patch.com

Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer - KXXV News Channel 25
Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer  KXXV News Channel 25

Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash - CBS San Francisco
Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash  CBS San Francisco

Dogs blamed for killing family pets in Hyrum neighborhood - KSL.com
Dogs blamed for killing family pets in Hyrum neighborhood  KSL.com

Pet of the Week: Be prepared to love Scout - WOAI
Pet of the Week: Be prepared to love Scout  WOAI

New program to help locate lost pets | Local News | fhtimes.com - Fountain Hills Times
New program to help locate lost pets | Local News | fhtimes.com  Fountain Hills Times

Champaign County Pet of the Week - Springfield News Sun
Champaign County Pet of the Week  Springfield News Sun

Finding Lost Pets May Get Easier with Petco Love's New Searchable Database - PetProductNews.com
Finding Lost Pets May Get Easier with Petco Love's New Searchable Database  PetProductNews.com

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug - Wink News
NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug  Wink News

Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes  Tampa Bay Times

Pets of the Week: April 29, 2021 - WSIL TV
Pets of the Week: April 29, 2021  WSIL TV

Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond - Patch.com
Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond  Patch.com

Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals - U.S. News & World Report
Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals  U.S. News & World Report

Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21) - KoamNewsNow.com
Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21)  KoamNewsNow.com

Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut  WISHTV.com

PLDPaws Pet of the Week: Cats - The Delaware County Daily Times
PLDPaws Pet of the Week: Cats  The Delaware County Daily Times

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — May 3 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — May 3  Gwinnettdailypost.com

A gator and a raccoon named Rebecca: Pets that have called the White House home - WTSP.com
A gator and a raccoon named Rebecca: Pets that have called the White House home  WTSP.com

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

PET imaging can enable accurate diagnosis of recurring brain metastases - News-Medical.Net
PET imaging can enable accurate diagnosis of recurring brain metastases  News-Medical.Net

Jet Pet- Zane - YourErie
Jet Pet- Zane  YourErie

Pet Helpers: Mitzi - WDTV
Pet Helpers: Mitzi  WDTV

Shelters seek homes for pets - Santa Barbara News-Press
Shelters seek homes for pets  Santa Barbara News-Press

SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets - American Veterinary Medical Association
SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets  American Veterinary Medical Association

Meet the Plus-Size Orphan Pets That Are Seeking New Homes and Healthier Routines in California - PEOPLE
Meet the Plus-Size Orphan Pets That Are Seeking New Homes and Healthier Routines in California  PEOPLE

Jet Pet: Selena - YourErie
Jet Pet: Selena  YourErie

Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us - The Washington Post
Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us  The Washington Post

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

KKR Acquires Natural Pet Food Group - Business Wire
KKR Acquires Natural Pet Food Group  Business Wire

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping - PRNewswire
Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping  PRNewswire

Austin Pets Alive! shines spotlight on ‘differently abled’ pups with mobility problems - KXAN.com
Austin Pets Alive! shines spotlight on ‘differently abled’ pups with mobility problems  KXAN.com

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families - PRNewswire
Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families  PRNewswire

Loveland kindergartners write ads for adoptable pets, and it couldn't be cuter - WLWT Cincinnati
Loveland kindergartners write ads for adoptable pets, and it couldn't be cuter  WLWT Cincinnati

How to buy a pet without getting scammed - MarketWatch
How to buy a pet without getting scammed  MarketWatch

Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds - BBC News
Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds  BBC News

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It. - Barron's
Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It.  Barron's

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