We intercepted some of the letters to Santa Claus coming out of CAP Animal Shelter, and almost all of the homeless dogs and cats indicated they just want to be in a new home for the holidays. Of course there were also a few of the more predictable requests: belly rubs, warm beds, a sunny spot by the window, and a human to love.
If you've been thinking about adopting a new pet then this Saturday's Home for the Holidays Open House & Holiday Market makes it easy to realize that dream. Presented by Citizens for Animal Protection and West Houston Subaru, the fun, festive event features photos with Santa, baked goodies and refreshments, a raffle, and an adoption program where West Houston Subaru has pledged to sponsor the adoption fee for approved applications during the open house.
"We have roughly around 100 cats and we usually have about 75 or 80 dogs here, and that includes puppies and kittens," says Bianca Burrascano, CAP's marketing coordinator, who tells us the folks from West Houston Subaru also will be making custom ID tags for each adopted animal.
It's just good manners to bring a host/hostess gift, and guests attending the open house are invited to bring wish list items for the homeless dogs and cats: paper towels, bleach, liquid dish detergent, dry and canned pet food, toys, and gift cards (Walmart, H-E-B, Office Depot, Home Depot, VISA, Tractor Supply and Amazon).
Of course when deciding to open your heart and home, making a good match is important. Some animals are fine with children and other cats or dogs; others prefer to be the one and only. The good news is that volunteers and shelter staff have written biographies for each animal.
And, if you already have a dog, they can make arrangements for a private meeting to make sure that the sniffing and sizing up leads to tail wagging and doggie kisses. "We have mix and mingle rooms and if they want to bring in their own dog, we can organize it in the back area and we can assist with the introduction," says Burrascano.
You won't meet Zoey at the adoption event — she can't seem to relax at the shelter — but this domestic shorthair is hanging her hat at a foster home until she's adopted. Her special talent is that when somebody whistles the patriotic song, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," she comes running. Her other tricks include "hiding" in the bathroom sink (not easy when you weigh 15 pounds), stalking and killing bugs, batting ice cubes around, and playing with empty paper towel tubes.
As for Minnie, a 24 pounder shown at the beginning of this story, her big request is that she get to stay with KC, her much larger sister who is high energy and weighs 61 pounds.
"KC is a big chocolate lab, she’s really cute, about seven years old and then her friend Minnie, she’s like a dachshund mix, she’s super cute too. They were surrendered together," says Burrascano; it seems their previous owners had to move out of the country. "They’re in the same dog run together and we have them in one of our real life rooms; it’s more like a little suite with a little more room."
A portion of all purchases at the gift market benefits Citizens for Animal Protection and its initiatives, and vendors include Furrever Doggies, Gorilla Dog Beds, Woof Gang Bakery, Scentsy, Art Pichardo Candles, artist Christina Leen, and author Lyn Robertson.
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One of the most fascinating programs that CAP has instituted over the years is CAP Storytime where children are invited to read books aloud to a shelter animal, using calm speaking voices and avoiding sudden movement. These short 15 minute sessions help shy shelter animals become more comfortable with humans while the children gain their own confidence and improve their reading skills.
For information about KC (A43178870), Minnie (A43178893), Salem (A41547808), Zoey (A33123509) or any of the other adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, or small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, visit cap4pets.org/pet-adoptions.
Home for the Holidays Open House & Holiday Market is scheduled for December 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Citizens for Animal Protection, 17555 Katy Freeway. Santa photos are scheduled from 2-4 p.m. For information, call 281-497-0591 or visit cap4pets.org. Free.
Home for the Holidays Open House & Holiday Market is a Subaru Share the Love® Event with support from the ASPCA® and Subaru.