by Chandra Cushman
humane society of central arizona
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 personally 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.
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 turkey, chicken 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 as well.
So now that you are ready to take on the next two weeks, it’s time you enjoy yourself. Make memories, laugh and live it up with your friends and family; both two- and four-legged. Happy Holidays to everyone from all of us here at the Humane Society of Central Arizona.
Don’t forget to make your end-of-year donation. You can donate online at humanesocietycentralaz.org; in person at 605 W. Wilson Court; or via mail to HSCAZ, P.O. Box 242, Payson, AZ 85547. We still have envelopes available to be purchased on our Wall of Hope, too.
HSCAZ Thrift Store
The Humane Society Thrift Shop & Vintage Boutique, 510 W. Main St., is a wonderful place to do some Christmas shopping. You’ll find great teen stocking stuffers of brand new One Direction items; a variety of gift items, both new or vintage; an endless supply of warm bedding and attire; numerous bowls and cooking accessories for the holiday feast preparation. The savings are spectacular and hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Our pet adoption special continues through the end of the year. Visit the shelter and choose a a dog or cat, puppy or kitten to adopt, then draw your adoption fee from the holiday bucket. Fees range from $25 to $50, and senior to senior adoptions are just $15. All adoptable pets are already spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations. Shelter hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Jeffrey is a big boy, with an equally big heart. He is laid back and affectionate. He gets along with everyone and makes new friends easily. He loves to curl up in a comfy cat bed and loves to be petted.
Dante loves people and will rub up against you, asking for some attention. Dante has lived with cats and likes to play, but prefers a home without dogs. Dante has also lived with older kids and is very affectionate. He likes to meow and talk and isn’t afraid to tell you that he wants some of your time and attention.
Sockatee is very affectionate and loves people of all ages. He has lived with other cats and dogs, and actually prefers the company of dogs over cats. Sockatee likes to meow and talk to you. He isn’t afraid to let you know that he wants a tasty treat or a nice ear scratch.
Ace is super playful and loves people. He gets along with other dogs that are friendly and like to play. He is a goofy guy with a great personality. He gets along well with kids, too. He also loves to play with toys and is learning to fetch. Ace is loyal and affectionate.
I am a big, loveable goofball with a lot to say! I am very friendly to everyone I meet! I’m sure you can hear me saying “Hi!” I am here through no fault of my own. My owner had a very bad accident, and I found myself at the Humane Society. I am settling in, but would love to be back in a home. I am house trained and know the basics. But I do pull on the leash — a lot! I am just so excited to explore! I enjoy the company of other dogs, and love to romp and play with any dogs that don’t mind my constant conversation! Larger dogs are best, as I sometimes chase the little ones. And kids are fine by me! But cats are not.
Halo may not be an angel, but she sure is a great dog! Halo is a loving, people-focused girl who enjoys lots of attention, although she can be a little pushy asking for it! She likes to go for walks, knows basic commands and is making great improvement on her manners. Halo likes to meet dogs that will let her be a little bossy — play time is great, but preferably by Halo’s rules. She loves to play with stuffed toys, and will entertain herself with one even when alone. With a little love and a little obedience training, Halo may just turn out to be an angel after all!