The holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to give to organizations that provide vital services to those in our communities.
Among those organizations are the animal shelters that care for a multitude of dogs, cats and other critters. The Vermilion County Department of Animal Control, the Danville Humane Society and CARA — Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption — in Tilton all can use a helping hand.
There are several ways area residents can help these organizations.
The obvious ones include donating money, food and items such as bedding. Everything donated helps these groups cut their costs and help more animals.
People also can help these groups by being responsible pet owners.
Those duties require more than just making sure your pet has shelter, food and water.
Many of the strays in the area come from neglect. Animals escape, and their former owners have made no effort to find them. There are easy and inexpensive ways to help your pet find its way back home should it run away.
Animal owners also should be sure to spay or neuter their pets. Allowing animals to breed indiscriminately contributes significantly to the population of strays and unwanted critters the local groups must care for.
If you’re thinking about giving a pet as a gift this Christmas, be sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to the recipient. Soft and cute puppies and kittens quickly become large animals requiring significant care
Shelter animals do make great pets. But their new owners should be ready to care for them if they are received as a gift.
Don’t forget our furry friends this holiday season.