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“Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”
– Vesta M. Kelly  
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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 12 December 2018  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
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None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News Briefs   None News From D 49  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
  Think twice about gifting a pet
  By Leslie Sheley

   Gifting pets at Christmas time can be a gleeful experience. However, that glee can wear off if the recipients are not prepared for the commitment it takes to be a pet owner.
   Tracy Berry, one of the founders and co-directors of Paws N Hooves (Southern Colorado Animal Rescue) and the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary, weighed in on the commitment. “A pet is a lifelong commitment and a ‘furever’ home, so we try to match the right person and situation with the right pet,” Berry said. When someone receives a pet as a gift, the initial reaction is excitement but later they might realize they weren’t prepared: A dog might be too big for the apartment; they don’t have time to walk a dog; the budget doesn’t allow for a pet, etc.
   Berry said the recipient tries to make it work, but all too often the gifted pet ends up in a shelter. To avoid the awkward situation and devastation to the pet, Berry said an alternative idea is to give someone a gift certificate for an adoption fee or a spay and neuter service. With a certificate, the proper process can be followed if the recipient is interested in bringing a pet into his or her home.
   If a friend or family member is uncertain about getting a pet, fostering a pet is another idea. Many rescue groups need foster homes for pets. If it doesn’t work, the group will find another foster home until the pet is formally adopted. More information on Paws N Hooves can be found at
   Theresa Strader, founder of National Mill Dog Rescue in Peyton, said having a pet is all about commitment. “A pet is something you have for 15 to 20 years, and people can’t make that commitment for others,” Strader said. “The thought is at Christmas, people tend to have a couple weeks off to take care of the pet, but once everyone goes back to work or school, everything changes. For a family or individual who is thinking of getting a pet, what is the thought process behind wanting a pet, behind the commitment and if it is an impulsive decision, it is almost always going to fail.” Visit for more information on National Mill Dog Rescue.
   The problem with gifting a pet is that the novelty quickly wears off; the kids lose interest — and the pet is neglected, said Michelle Burkhart, director of development for Wild Blue Cats. “Cats are different in that for the adoption to be successful and to have less behavioral issues in the future, they need to choose you; you don’t choose the cat,” Burkhart said. The cat might like the gift giver, but it might not be a good match for the recipient. She said they make sure everyone in the family is part of the adoption process, which helps to ensure a successful adoption.” Check out Wild Blue Cats on Facebook.
It might be better to gift a pet calendar from National Mill Dog Rescue for Christmas. It's a safer choice than taking the chance that a dog or cat would be a welcome present. For the calendar, visit
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