I got an email earlier this month from a mom who was asking for advice about getting her son a new dog for Christmas. She wasn’t sure how to surprise him, since clearly you can’t wrap a dog and put it under the tree.
My suggestion to her is to consider the Roanoke Valley SPCA’s Home for the Holidays program.
Between Dec. 23 and 26, the RVSPCA is seeking volunteers to open their homes to dogs and cats that would otherwise spend Christmas in the shelter. The program helps to socialize the homeless pets by getting them out of the shelter for a few days, and it also helps the employees and volunteers of the RVSPCA be able to spend more time at home with their families.
As I suggested to the mom who emailed me, she could take her son to choose their holiday foster and, if everything works out well, she could let her son know on Christmas that the dog is a new family member.
Of course, the choice to add a pet to the family should not be taken lightly and everyone in the family needs to be committed to the care of the pet for its lifetime. And some may reason that the chaos of the holidays is not an ideal time to introduce a new pet to the home.
However, I think that helping a shelter pet is always a good idea, and each family needs to make this decision based on their own circumstances.
For more information about the Home for the Holidays program, contact foster coordinator Angie Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 339-9505.