They greet us at the door when we come home from school. They make us laugh as they chase a balled up sock around the family room floor. They warm our laps as we all snuggle on the couch to watch a movie. Our pets are an extension of our family and like all those we love it’s during the holiday season we remember them most.
This Christmas marks the first we celebrate with Ku, a 3-years old mother cat, and Tea and Jam, her 2-years old daughters we adopted from our local Humane Society in late January. Thankfully someone stumbled upon Ku in the snow and brought her into the shelter to be welcomed into our family.
I find myself in awe at how animals love selflessly, no matter what kind of day you have. It’s their open and pure hearts that make them so important to us. It’s also why I find it hard to bear when they are abandoned, mistreated and wanting for love. A visit to our local Humane Society always has me wanting to add more pets to our family, wishing I could give these animals the love they want and deserve. Although our home can only handle our three recent adoptees, it’s a little comforting to know that there are shelters with dedicated staff and volunteers helping the countless animals still waiting for their special family to find them.
We support our local shelter by adopting our pets through them (we’ve adopted 10 cats through our family’s lifespan) but the Ontario SPCA is about so much more than just adoption. They investigate suspected animal abuse or attacks, advocate for animal welfare, educate new owners and the community on care and animal safety, and even deal with wildlife care and rehabilitation. That’s an amazing amount of work, much of which we may not see.
The Ontario SPCA’s Paws & Give program is a way to support all of these animal initiatives, whether you’re a pet owner or just an animal lover. While you are out buying the latest video game for the family, why not donate one Cat Holiday Care Package, giving a shelter pet a holiday toy, treat, and blanket. When picking up wine for your holiday party, why not donate one Essential Rescue & Relief™ Equipment Package, providing equipment like collapsible caging, flashlights, and bedding needed for a rescue operation. These are just two of the countless ways you can help the Ontario SPCA and their animal welfare mission.
If you have young animal lovers on your list the Ontario SPCA Paws & Give Plus Toy is the perfect gift. Each $40 donation includes a plush toy (choose from Maddison, Tyson or Rocky) plus an adoption certificate for the ‘pet’ personalized with the gift recipient’s name. The proceeds from all gifts go directly to the Ontario SPCA’s programs to promote animal welfare and efforts to prevent animal cruelty in the province.
When we adopted our three newest members the staff at the Humane Society were amazing, providing them with love and care before they came home, during their transition period at home, and even when they had to visit them for medical care during their fostering period. I can’t imagine our home without Ku, Tea, or Jam and I’m sure my kids would agree.
We were fortunate to find each other but the shelters are full of pets still waiting for their families and others face the cold winter alone. The work provided by the Ontario SPCA protects and cares for the kittens waiting to be adopted, the cat that was abandoned by the side of the road, the dog that was mistreated and countless other animals. We may not be able to provide a home for all of them but donating to the Ontario SPCA Paws & Give program, even a little, will help those animals still waiting for the love they deserve.
This post was sponsored by the Ontario SPCA, but the options expressed in this post are my own.