Fuzzy friends can bring the perfect amount of warmth and joy to a home this 2020 holiday season, and the Williamson County Animal Center is happy to provide such suitable companions, but encourages the community to consider what is best to their individual situations.
The center recently launched its Operation Silent Night initiative in partnership with Metro Animal Care and Control to try to empty its kennels for the holidays through community adoptions and pet adoption. While families are, of course, encouraged to adopt a pet if they’re ready for that milestone, the shelter also allows families to bring a pet home for the holidays, fostering it for a set period of time. .
Ondrea Johnson, executive director of the animal center, said the placement process can reveal a lot of information about pets and families.
“It gives us such a good amount of information about how a dog or cat behaves in a home,” she said. “Cats, for example – sometimes here they can be scared and hiss in their cages, but when you bring them into a home environment, they’re relaxed and loving.”
Additionally, she said fostering can let a family know if they’re really ready to adopt a dog or cat.
Johnson shared that families typically adopt puppies over the holidays as gifts for their families, but if a family’s lifestyle isn’t compatible with what it takes to raise a puppy, the family could end up abandon the animal a few months later.
“March…is usually when we start handing over 6 month old puppies because people will have a puppy at Christmas that is between 2 and 3 months old,…and around the time the puppy becomes a lanky teenager. , teenage dog that starts eating your whole house and it’s unmanageable, … then people’s lives go back to normal when it starts to warm up and people start going on vacations and all those things, so it’s that’s when people realize that, oh, it probably wasn’t a good time for us,” Johnson said.
She stressed that the animal center does not pass judgment on families whose adopting pets ultimately did not work out, but they hope to be a resource for families to help keep their pets. Johnson said families struggling with a pet should call the animal center immediately. She said dogs at the shelter are already undergoing obedience training and staff can direct families to other resources if their animal is causing them trouble — trainers, online links, loaner crates for housebreaking and more. Additionally, when adopting a pet, staff can help families match a pet that suits their lifestyle.
“If you have a very active lifestyle and your activities are outdoors — hiking, camping, running, that sort of thing — then a very active young dog is probably right for you,” Johnson said. “If your activity level is lots of social events, late nights, working all day, stopping and having dinner with friends, coming home at 10 p.m. that night, an energetic young dog or cat , really, probably isn’t a good fit. So it really depends.
While puppies and kittens are always caught quickly, Johnson said adopting a senior pet can bring
“Adopting a 4- or 5-year-old dog is like the perfect age because he has so much left to give,” she said. “They still have tons of energy, very healthy. Most of the time, they are already past the chewing stage. They are helmeted most of the time.
She shared that families with multiple young children may prefer an older pet as they likely won’t need as much supervision as a puppy or kitten so as not to add too much chaos to an already existing home. restless and lively.
The animal center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The shelter hopes to have all of its pets in homes by Christmas Eve.
Additionally, the shelter is also accepting donations for its new facility, which will more than double the square footage of the building, allowing for greater capacity for animals, more office space and additional community resources. For more information, visit AdoptWCAC.org.