Holiday Tips for Animal Lovers

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My kids & I in 1994

Growing up, I tried my luck with different pets but, ever since I was 4, there has been at least one cat in our family and in all our photo albums. I’m a certified animal person and, because my current felines aren’t the cuddliest bunch, I resort to spending afternoons at AUB for some kitty love.

My newsfeed recently has been overrun with pictures of lost pets, injured canines, and cats caught in car engines as they scour for warmth now that the temperature has dropped. If you’re like me, in that you can’t adopt any new siblings due to lack of space or parental approval, I’ve compiled a short list of easy things you can do to help these little fluffballs without signing on for the full commitment.

Tap on Your Hoods
Cats are not fans of water. The rain and cold winds causes cats & kittens to seek warmth wherever they can find it which means under hoods of parked cars. Unsuspecting humans hop in and start their engines only to be surprised by the squatter who is now injured or worse. Tap on the hood or honk a few times before starting your car. It’ll be one of the rare times where honking here serves a purpose.

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Frida recently passed away after being caught in a car engine (Animals Lebanon)

Build a Fort
Creating shelters for these kitties would give them a place to go instead of under your car hood. Check out this site for tips on how to make warm spots for the poor strays or improvise and design your own using scraps around the building. God knows we’ve got plenty of trash around that we can repurpose.

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Love me for life, foo’

Don’t Gift Puppies & Kittens
The idea of being a cat/dog uncle or aunt is tempting. By gifting a miniature pet to someone you love, you’re guaranteed to have a companion to spoil who you can walk away from at the end of the day. However, as you’re tying a pretty red ribbon around their neck, remember that this little guy is not a temporary source of entertainment. Cats and dogs require care and they are a responsibility that isn’t just a walk in the park. You also have trips to the vet, destroyed leather shoes, and hair EVERYWHERE. Also, two words: pooper scooper.

When you bring them home, keep in mind that they’re going to be there for a long time. The recipient may not be ready for the baby you’re leaving on their doorstep so don’t force the decision on someone else. Only have kids when you’re ready. Talk about it first. Yes, I’m still talking about pets.

Be a Foster Parent
BETA Lebanon has had a space problem for quite a while and, since it’s the holiday season, Animals Lebanon foster roster is low and they need more foster parents. This is a great alternative for those who can’t full-time adopt AND it helps the shelters that are currently over capacity. You can volunteer to care for cats, dogs, or both. It’s a temporary situation so your place is like a hostel until they find their forever home.

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Sponsor/Donate
Money is what makes the world go ’round and puts food in their bowls. No need to dish out the big bills, any amount is appreciated.

Ultimately, if you do want a furry friend to join your family, adopt one, regardless of their age or breed. They’ll love (or ignore) you just the same as the young purebreds in the pet shop.

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