Today is December 6, and no doubt some of you are looking to get a special furry friend for yourself or someone else for the holidays. Whether to get a purebred from a breeder or adopt from the local shelter is a tough decision. With a purebred, you know what health issues a certain breed is susceptible to over their lifetime. On the other hand, adopting from your local shelter is much cheaper, supports their efforts to reduce overpopulation in the city, and can change an unlucky animal’s life forever.
If you are going to adopt from a shelter, now is a FANTASTIC time to do it. The Humane Society here in Columbia is running a promotion called Home for the Holidays, during which all pet adoptions are no more than $25 from Dec. 1-31. If you’re not sure where they’re located, I’m putting a map down in the bottom of this post so you can take a look there. From I-77, take the Shop Road exit, then look on the left for the Adopt Us sign that you really can’t miss.
Before you adopt a pet, however, you should be sure that you WANT a pet. Puppies eventually grow up into dogs, and kittens become cats. Especially if you’re getting a non-purebred, younger animal, be prepared to get one that is much larger than what you expected. Pets require vet visits, food, room to play, toys, love and affection (yes, even cats!), litter, leashes, and TIME. All pets need training, whether it’s potty training or Don’t Eat My Couch training. So before you get a cute little critter for the perfect photoshoot this year, make sure you’re still going to want a furry friend in January when it eats your shoes for the first time.
Even if you don’t want to adopt a pet, the Humane Society here in Columbia does fantastic work. All four of my pets have gotten microchipped there in case they escape (my indoor cat has learned how to use the doggy door, and my oldest dachshund has wayfaring ways about him), and two of my pets have gotten spayed here at fantastic cost. They also offer vaccine clinics, so if your pet needs shots and your budget is a little tight, don’t skip them — call the Humane Society and make sure to give your pet the same love it shows you.
Whether you’re looking to adopt a new pet this holiday season or just want a good place to take care of the ones you already have — make sure to support our local shelters. With more money, they can afford these reduced-price clinics, have room for animals off the street to live instead of being euthanized, and can keep the doors open for people wanting a new friend of their own. Just be responsible and make sure your holiday adoption is a forever furbaby — not just a pretty holiday picture.