By Dr. Rebekah Frost
“For it is in giving that we receive.” — Francis of Assisi
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” — Proverbs 11:25
The Christmas season has arrived and we are all busy with Christmas shopping and activities. Christmas is not only a time of receiving gifts, but a time of giving, a time of hope, and a time of love. We tend to forget what this season is all about.
What sort of activities can we do to help bring us back to reality and to celebrate the true reason for the season? Because I am a veterinarian, I am going to discuss some charitable ideas that are pet related that we can participate in this time of year:
1. Donate to the shelters that are harboring the pets misplaced from the California wildfires. Also consider donating to shelters of misplaced pets from the recent hurricanes Florence and Michael.
2. Donate supplies to your animal local shelters. Each shelter has their own list of needed supplies. This might include paper towels, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, towels and newspapers, food and treats, collars and leashes, kongs and toys, and more.
3. Donate your time to your local animal shelters. This might include walking the dogs, playing with the cats, volunteering at fundraising events, and helping with janitorial duties. Even just sharing facebook posts on animals that need to be adopted is a great way to volunteer your time.
4. Donate your financial resources to your local shelters, rescues, and food pantries. Dunkirk actually has a pet food pantry on Lark Street in Dunkirk. They are always taking donations of food, treats, and more!
5. Visit nursing homes with your pets. Bring Christmas gifts to the residents.
6. Offer to visit your elderly neighbors and walk or play with their pets. Bring them and their pets a gift for Christmas.
7. Attend local fundraising events for our local animal shelters. Lakeshore Humane Society offers a Picture your Pet with Santa photo shoot that helps to support their organization.
8. Raise funds on your own for your local animal shelters and rescues. This year my kids helped me tie dye bandanas that we are donating the money towards our Bigfoot fund to help stray and injured pets that need medical care.
9. Consider becoming a foster parent to pets in need. Although sometimes this is hard and the pets you foster for our local shelters may become “foster failures” as they have become in my home!
10. Last but not least, consider adopting a pet in need for the holidays. Many pets in our shelters and rescues are in need of a forever loving home. These pets are already spayed or neutered, have had their vaccines, and have gone through behavior screening to make sure that they are adoptable. Our local shelters include: Lake Shore Humane Society, Chautauqua County Humane Society , Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue, Sadies Safe Harbor, Westfield Stray Cat Rescue.
Have a wonderful holiday season from the doctors and staff at the Dunkirk Animal Clinic!
(this article appears in the Observer Today on December 16, 2018 with the title “Assist our area shelters with time, donations”)
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels