Shelter pets want homes for the holidays

By Anna Bolton - [email protected]

XENIA — The director of Greene County Animal Care & Control hopes to give all the shelter animals homes for the holidays.

Often, the shelter at 641 Dayton Xenia Road is full. But as of Dec. 21, there were just five dogs and four cats waiting to be adopted.

And this is just after GCAC Director Julie Holmes-Taylor said she witnessed “a Christmas miracle.”

“Marvin — we had him for three months. We couldn’t figure out why people weren’t adopting him. He was very good looking to us, had a great personality, just such a great dog. We knew if we could find the right person to look at him, they’d see what we see,” Holmes-Taylor said.

Then a woman, who had dropped off a Kroger donation the day before, returned.

“She said, ‘No, he’s coming home with us’,” Holmes-Taylor recalled. “We were crying.”

Despite her goal of giving every animal a home for the holidays, Holmes-Taylor said residents who wish to give a new pet to their children or retired parents for Christmas should think about it seriously.

“We encourage to not give the pet as a surprise but rather a planned gift,” Holmes-Taylor said. “Make it fun.”

One gift idea the director suggested was a handmade gift certificate for a dog or cat, with some treats or toys for the pet, maybe even a stuffed animal.

“This makes the surprise feel more real — the recipient can pick the pet that meets their needs and wants. We want to make sure the pet is permanent and a good fit for them and their lifestyle,” Holmes-Taylor said. “I can’t tell you how many animals we get returned after the holidays.”

And even though the shelter is not full right now, it will get full.

That’s why every adoption is so sweet.

“It means a lot to us. They didn’t ask to be here,” Holmes-Taylor said. “They certainly are deserving of a second chance. If people could just come in and look … you’re going to fall in love.”

The director said in the final push of the “Home for the Holidays” program, all GCAC pets are half-price, sponsored through donations, until Sunday, Jan. 23. Regular adoption fees are $135 for dogs and $90 for cats.

Holmes-Taylor said the agency will be closed on Christmas Eve if all animals are adopted by then. If not, they will close 2 p.m. that day. The agency will be closed on Christmas Day.

By Anna Bolton

[email protected]