This past Saturday, the in Wantagh held its annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair featuring a slew of family activities, including a visit from Santa Claus, raffles and free giveaways, to promote its main goal of finding cats and dogs loving homes for the holiday season.
The Home for the Holidays program allows families to adopt cats or dogs free of charge through Jan.15, 2012. The adopted animals also receive free vaccinations, spraying and neutering services and microchipping. The shelter is aiming to find homes for approximately 130 dogs and 50 cats.
“Families can come into the shelter and meet with an adoption counselor,” said Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter Director Cindy Iacopella. “Then there is an interview process, which serves to match the family with the right animal for them.”
Saturday’s event featured raffles for dog and cat gift baskets, which benefited the shelter’s Tails of Hope Fund. The fund helps to finance extraordinary medical surgeries for sick animals and covers other costly animal needs. Children and pets also had a chance to take photos with Santa Claus.
All pets adopted at the event also received a free gift, thanks to sponsors Jo-Mar Grooming of Floral Park, Manetto Hill Animal Hospital of Plainview and IAMS.
While the shelter’s goal is to find homes for the cats and dogs, the staff first makes sure that families realize how big of a commitment it is to adopt an animal.
“We’re not Macy’s,” said Iacopella. “We don’t want people making impulse purchases. Adopting an animal is a lifelong commitment, and we make sure that is the family’s intentions. Nine times out of 10 it is.”
Those interested in adopting an animal can view pets online, either by visiting the town’s website or by using the Petfinder link on the animal shelter’s web page. You can also visit the shelter, located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
“Few things can equal the joy of giving a loving cat or dog a home,” said Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “Consider making pet adoption a part of your holiday season.”