With the festive season finally upon us and thoughts turning to family, food and Father Christmas, we have seen the annual dip in rehoming interest we now expect every December.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; as we all know a dog is for life so anyone considering adopting as a Christmas present we need to be absolutely certain they have considered what they’re doing. Also, to protect the animals, we won’t rehome a pet during the week around Christmas; with all the noise, temptations and upheaval that Christmas celebrations cause in the average household it is no place for an animal to be trying to settle in! Of course this does mean that through December and January we have a lot of animals who will be spending longer than usual at the Shelter. Although we try our hardest, and we must thank our volunteers here for their amazing efforts too, the reality is that most of our animals will be in their kennel, pod or hutch for 23 hours a day over the next few weeks.
In previous years you, our incredible supporters, have donated hundreds of shoe boxes full of gifts for the Shelter. This year we’re hoping for the same, but we’d especially ask you to think about what is going in them this year. While we’re grateful for every donation, what we really need is tinned food (the loaf kind, not gravy), treats and toys…here’s why?
Tins – We can use tinned food to stuff Kongs and other feeding toys, which makes mealtimes more stimulating for the animals.
Treats – Used for training, vital to keep the animals minds active in the time they do get out and playing with humans, which in turn tires them out before they are put back in their home for the day.
Toys – Because every pet deserves some fun! Stimulating toys are especially welcome, ones that make them work for food for example Kongs are brilliant to keep dogs busy in their kennels or treats stuffed in toilet rolls for the rabbit hutches.
So if you putting a box together or launching your own appeal at work or school, please consider including more of these bits so we can make life in the Shelter as pleasant as possible for all the dogs, cats and rabbits at Cheltenham Animal Shelter this Christmas.