Keep Pets Safe From Holiday Hazards


Beautiful lights and decorations are up now and you can hear some of your favorite carols on the radio. It’s getting colder in Payson, and Christmas is just around the corner.

This is my favorite time of year. It’s time to bake cookies and wrap gifts and spend time with the family. The season can be a little hectic at times, but the warm feeling in your heart and the wonderful memories you create sure pays off.

Here at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, we have a record number of animals in our care right now, compared to the years prior. But if you’ve been around lately, you know that this isn’t something we let bring us down. We are excited to be partnering up with the Fountain Hills PETCO, located at 16835 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 105 this Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a Home for the Holidays mobile adoption event. We will have puppies, kittens and some other adorable pets available for adoption. You can also get your pets’ photo taken with Santa from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., so come with your bells and reindeer antlers on and smile big for the camera.

If you are considering adopting a new pet for the holidays, there are a few things we’d like you to consider before you make that decision. The holidays are a busy time and you may have a lot of company around, so waiting until after the holidays may be the best idea. A new pet needs your time and attention to adapt to its new surroundings. With a lot of noise and traffic, you may not be able to give them the time they deserve and you won’t be able to see their true personality shine through.

A great alternative to adopting a pet during the holidays is to purchase a gift certificate. We have gift certificates available at the shelter year round. This is a great idea because you can wait until things calm down at home and then come down and pick out your new companion. It’s important that you are ready to take on all the responsibilities of owning a new pet, even if that means waiting a little while. We are always happy to help you pick out the perfect pet, so when you come down, let us know what you’re looking for. Last year, we had 20 returned adoptions during the holiday months and it’s our New Year’s resolution to keep that number down this year.

For those of you who do own pets or are planning on adopting this year, there are some Holiday Hazards we want you to be aware of. Treats, decorations and the weather can be harmful to your pets, so here are a few things to watch out for this time of year:

• Chocolate, especially dark and other human food, is bad for your pet. If they get into these things, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even more severe problems.

• Bones from turkeys, chickens or steak can splinter and cause damage to the throat, stomach and intestines. You can purchase treats for your pet at your local pet or grocery store. These are safe, and pets love them.

• Holiday decorations and the Christmas tree need to be monitored carefully. Check for broken ornaments and ornament hooks on the ground. Be sure to clean up any tinsel or ribbon and if you are using a live tree, fresh water in the tree stand is the safest route to go. You can even anchor the top of the tree to the wall to prevent the tree from falling over due to a happy tail wag or a curious climber. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on all electric cords, making sure they are not being chewed on or played with.

• Holiday plants like holly, holly berries, poinsettias, lilies and mistletoe are extremely toxic to pets if ingested. Keep these beautiful plants up and out of reach from your four-legged friends.

• Lit candles should never be left unattended or too close to curious faces and feet. A wagging tail and playful paws can turn hot wax into an instant disaster, and can even burn your pet.

In the event of an emergency, be sure to call your local vet. Keep important numbers on hand like the ASPCA’s Poison Control number 888-426-3325, and the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital, which is Payson Pet Care for those of you who live in or around Payson. Their phone number is (928) 474-8387.

Other news

We are offering special adoption rates for the month of December. Stop by the shelter, 812 S. McLane Road, and ask us.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Drum roll please… The winner of the Cardinals raffle is Chick Ideker. Congratulations, Chick!




Daisy is a 3 year old spayed, female Shepherd mix. She was recently returned by her previous adopters because she was not bonding well with the man and even acted a little fearful. Daisy is a very sweet girl who is playful and outgoing. She may do best with a single female and she does get along great with children, other dogs and even cats. She is leash and house trained, has manners, knows basic commands and is fairly easy going. She will make a great addition to a loving, patient person or family.




Radar is a handsome 3 year old Pit mix that was brought in by the Police Department in May. He was actually adopted from us as a puppy and came in with ID tags on. We tried numerous times to reach his owner and were never able to get a hold of her. So now this handsome guy is available for adoption. He is already neutered and is current on his shots. He is good with kids and loves to play with other dogs. Radar has great manners and knows basic commands. He listens well and is house and leash trained. If you are looking for an outgoing, yet down to earth dog, this is definitely your guy!




Riley is a 6 1/2 month old, spayed Black Mouth Cur mix. She was surrendered to the shelter in November because the people who rescued her, weren't able to take her on the road while they traveled. She likes to play with dogs of all sizes and is good with children and cats as well. She is house, leash and crate trained and she knows basic commands and manners. Smiley Riley is what we call her, because she smiles when she is happy to see you. This energetic pup is looking for a fun loving family to be a part of.




Ashton is an adorable, 4 month old neutered male kitten. He is mostly white with an orange tail and orange ears. He was part of an unwanted litter that arrived here at the shelter back in October. He is playful little guy who loves other cats, especially when it’s time to cuddle up together during nap time. He is a sweet, easy going boy who wants a warm lap he can lay in and call his own.




Mr. Dillon is one of the sweetest cats you'll ever meet. He was adopted as a kitten and sadly returned now that he is almost 2 years old. Dillon however, is not sad. He is quiet happy, even though he sometimes hides under his blankie when he is a little scared. He is neutered and current on his shots, like all of our adoptables. He uses the litter box and a scratching post, so you don't have to worry about your furniture getting torn up. Dillon is friendly with the kittens he shares a cat house with and is learning how to play. He is an affectionate guy, who is easygoing and laid back, just looking to find his forever home.




Baby is a handsome, 3 year old long haired neutered male. He was turned over by his owner in July because she was moving and couldn’t take him with. He has been around kids and other animals his entire life; in fact he came in with his brother Puppy, who looks just like him but with shorter hair. Baby is a laid back cat. He enjoys naps and basking in the sun when he is laying in the window sill. He truly is an amazing cat and will make some one very happy.


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