News

How much is that doggy in the window?

By MARGO HORNER

The Mirror

While many local families are hustling around to the malls to do their Christmas shopping, some are heading somewhere a little more unique this year — the animal shelter.

Throughout the month of December, King County Animal Care and Control is offering specials on cat adoptions. Adult cats can be adopted for a $25 fee and kittens can be adopted for $40. Dog adoptions are $75.

All adoptable pets from the animal shelter come with vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, a vet check and a one-year pet license. They are also checked for health and temperament.

Compared to the cost of purchasing those services separately, adopting from the animal shelter is a bargain, said Al Dams, manager of King County Animal Care and Control. Plus, adopting from the animal shelter helps reduce euthanasia rates.

“You’re potentially saving an animal’s life,” Dams said. “You’re finding a home for a homeless pet.”

While pets are a great idea to bring home for the family at Christmas time, people should be cautious before giving them as gifts, Dams said.

“You don’t know what they want,” he said. “They may not want a dog, they may want a cat.”

A better idea, Dams suggested, is to present a gift certificate instead. The animal shelter will print out gift certificates for a pet and allow the receiver to choose their own pet when they arrive.

“The person that’s getting it can go down and pick it out themselves,” Dams said. “That way they can get the animal they want, when they want.”

Another consideration before bringing a pet home is vacation plans, Dams said. It is unwise to bring a new pet home right before a family vacation.

Cats adopted from the animal shelter are meant to be pets, Dams said. If a person is looking for a cat to be a mouser, the shelter can direct them toward animal rescue services that adopt out feral cats.

While some folks might be hesitant to bring home a new pet during the hectic holiday season, Dams said a pet from the animal shelter will be quick to adjust.

“An animal that’s been in the animal shelter is going to be used to chaos,” he said.

There are currently nearly 600 cats and kittens logged into the Animal Services system. About half of those are being fostered in private homes. The others are at the Kent and Eastside animal shelters and off-site facilities.

The King County Animal Care and Control Kent shelter, 21615 64th Ave. S. in Kent, will be open for pet adoptions before Christmas from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 22 and Dec.24. For more information, call (206) 296-7387.

The Federal Way PetSmart, 31705 Pacific Hwy. S., will be open for pet adoptions before Christmas during regular store hours. For more information, call (253) 529-4693.

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