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Dogs and cats as gifts? Not for everyone

Dog and cat adoptions tend to spike this time of year as it’s not uncommon for domesticated pets to be given as holiday gifts.

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But Lori Plummer, director of the Humane Society Serving Logan County, offered some advice Thursday to folks considering putting a new puppy under the tree.

She told the Logan County Commissioners at a quarterly meeting that adoptions have increased with the arrival of the holiday season, but not everybody is ready to get a dog or cat as a Christmas gift.

“Twice this week I’ve had adults come in to the shelter and say they were adopting a new puppy for a five-year-old kid and the child was going to care for the puppy,” Mrs. Plummer said. “That five-year-old is not going to be able to take care of that puppy alone.

“Unfortunately, when people realize a child that young can’t care for the animal, it sometimes ends up back at the shelter.”

Another piece of advice Mrs. Plummer offers to those considering gifting a puppy or kitten for the holidays is to not wait until Dec. 24 or 25.

“Your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are going to be chaos,” she said. “You’re better off giving the animal before the actual holiday.”

For those adopting a cat, Mrs. Plummer offers this warning: Tie down the Christmas tree.

“Cats will climb up your Christmas tree and it will fall over,” she said. “The tree we have at the shelter is tethered down because the cats can and do climb it.”

Mrs. Plummer reminds dog and cat owners who have set up live Christmas trees in their houses to keep their pets out of the water.

“They will drink the water from live trees,” she said. “And if you’re using a live tree and have just adopted a pet, they might think it’s a new place to (urinate).”

Currently, the local humane society has about 110 dogs and between 70 and 75 cats “of all shapes and sizes,”  the director said.

Mrs. Plummer also told the commissioners the humane society is consulting with Gail Friend of DeGraff to further develop the humane society’s board of directors.

“Gail has a lot of education and experience in this area and when you leave a meeting with her, you can’t help but feel like ‘we can do this,’ ” Mrs. Plummer said.

Commissioners offered their initial approval to renew a funding agreement with the humane society. The deal permits the shelter to take 90 percent of all revenue from dog licensing fees in the county. The funds bring in about $60,000 per year for the local shelter.

Commissioners told Mrs. Plummer they expect to sign the new agreement by next week.

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