Written by Kendall King, Local Press Initiative reporter on December 16, 2021.
Animal advocates at Medicine Hat share tips with pet owners for the upcoming cold-weather holiday season.
Kaylyn Major, general manager at Alberta Pound and Rescue Centers Medicine Hat, heard about the issue of seasonal adoption, where cats and dogs are bought as Christmas gifts and then returned shortly after Christmas once adopters realize that pet ownership is a long-term commitment. , but did not encounter the problem.
“We’ve already had good success with (pre-Christmas adoption),” Major told the newspaper.
She and her team do not discourage adoptions at this time of year, and instead work with potential adopters to make sure pet ownership is the right decision for them.
“Obviously it has to be an informed decision and made by the family so that everyone is on board,” Major said. “Normally you wouldn’t want to buy it for someone who doesn’t know they’re coming… If it’s a family decision, that’s a great idea, because we want a lot of the animals back home for the holidays. We don’t want them here in kennels.”
Currently, APAC is operating at a higher capacity than usual for this time of year.
“Right now, we’re sitting, in total, around the 85 mark,” Major said. She hopes some of the cats and dogs on the site will find their forever homes by Christmas.
“Now is the time because, usually, everyone takes a vacation around Christmas, so if you’re going to take that vacation, you can get your new family member used to everything (in the new home).”
The Major encourages interested parties to check out the APAC website or contact them by phone.
She also shared tips on how pet owners can properly prepare their fur families for cold weather.
“Obviously they need to go out and rest in the restrooms, and different breeds can put up with different times. If it’s a husky, he wants to live there, but a little guy with no fur, he has to go out and come in. You really have to make time for something of the sort. The top is 15 minutes, but depending on your pet.”
Major stressed that pets should not be left outside for long periods.
For strays found outside during cold weather, she recommends not trapping them and instead encourages Hatters to contact the city’s list, who will try to catch them and bring them to APARC for shelter and any necessary medical treatment.