FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The City of Fayetteville Animal Services and Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) have partnered up for a holiday adoption event this weekend in honor of National Adoption Weekend.
All pet adoption fees will be waived from Dec. 9-10 and there will be free engraved pet ID tags for those who adopt. All dogs, puppies, cats and kittens available for adoption will be spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated if they are old enough.
The BFAS is encouraging those who are thinking of gifting a pet this holiday season to adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group instead of buying.
“Not everyone considers this, but where gifted pets come from can either help or hurt efforts to end the killing of pets in shelters,” said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “I encourage everyone to adopt rather than buy a pet from a breeder, pet store or online retailer. Aside from giving a loving home to a pet in need, you are helping to divert money away from the inhumane puppy mill industry that churns out millions of puppies annually for sales through pet stores and online retailers.”
BFAS says Research done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that pets received as gifts are not loved less than those adopted by more traditional means, nor are they given up at higher rates. The research also showed that “denying adopters who intend to give the animals as gifts may unnecessarily impede the overarching goal of increasing the rate of live-releases of dogs and cats from our nations’ shelter system.”
“A great way to give the priceless gift of a furry companion is to purchase an adoption gift certificate from your local shelter or rescue group,” continued Castle. “That way you leave the choosing of a new best friend up to the family or person adopting. Or you can make it an unforgettable experience by making the choice together.”
BFAS says this is a great time to adopt as the animal overcapacity crisis is affecting shelters nationwide.
“Not only do pets bring so much joy to our lives, but right now animal shelters across America are experiencing an overcapacity crisis and there are a lot of great pets who need a home,” added Castle.
BFAS partnered with over 600 shelters and rescues for the holiday campaign.
Justine Lentz, animal services superintendent for the City of Fayetteville, said, “This is a busy time of year for everyone, but we want to encourage people who are thinking about adopting a pet for the holidays to do so now when they have more time to commit to training and bonding with their new pet.”
The City of Fayetteville says shelters across the country are struggling with higher intake, while adoptions, fosters and rescues are not keeping pace. Additionally, many shelters are facing challenges with staffing shortages, limited hours, decreased volunteers and reduced adoption events. All this adds up to most U.S. shelters being at or over capacity, resulting in pets being more at risk due to lack of space.
“We currently have more adoptable dogs than we have kennels for in our adoptable dog room, so we are in high need of adopters,” Lentz said. “We also have a foster program, in case someone isn’t ready to commit to adoption. They can foster and still make a big difference in helping that pet and our shelter.”
BFAS says the three previous adoption weekends resulted in the adoption of over 25,000 pets nationwide. The application, adoption information and photos of available pets that are available at BFAS can be found on the city's website.
BFAS offers the following tips to keep overall pets safe this holiday season:
- Curb the tendency to give your pet human food. Any change in your pets' diet may give them indigestion, diarrhea or worse. This is especially true for chocolate, grapes, onions, poultry bones, eggnog and fruitcake which are poisonous if ingested.
- Holiday plants such as lilies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are known to be toxic to pets and should be kept out of reach.
- The water a Christmas tree sits in is a breeding ground for bacteria and can be extremely harmful to pets. Keep water covered with a thick skirt so pets can’t get into any trouble.
- Hang lights out of reach and tape electrical cords safely to the wall.
- Tinsel, ribbon, metal hooks, plastic and glass can obstruct or perforate the intestine if ingested. Use an alternative such as paper and hang decorations out of reach from your pet.
- Dispose of wrapping paper, packages and bows after opening presents and put children’s toys out of reach of pets after playtime to avoid accidental ingestion.
- Be aware that increased noise and lighting can cause stress. If your pet seems agitated, turn down the music or consider placing your pet in a quiet, calm room with dim lighting.
- Make sure your pets' identification and microchip are up to date in case anyone inadvertently leaves the door open during your holiday celebration.
Click here for more information about BFAS.
To view adoptable pets, click here.
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