'There's no place like home for the holidays' — or so the 1954 Perry Como song says — and the Turlock Animal Shelter has the goal of finding a forever home for every dog and cat they have before Christmas. To help encourage potential pet owners to find their new companion this month, all adoption fees are 50 percent off.
"We have received a few donations from the public and we have some spay and neuter funds we are able to use," said Animal Services Supervisor Officer Glena Jackson about the discounted adoption fees.
While Jackson is hoping to find a home for the 10 dogs and two kittens that were available for adoption on Thursday, she has a few tips for those looking to gift a pet this holiday season.
"It's a family decision to bring a pet in your home," she said.
Jackson encourages all family members to discuss adopting a pet ahead of time and to come down to the shelter to visit with a dog or cat before taking them home.
Instead of adopting a puppy or kitten and presenting him or her as a gift, Jackson encourages giving a gift certificate or surprising the giftee with a trip to the shelter.
"Getting grandma a new pet because she's lonely may not be what she wants. We're looking for life-long, forever homes. The best way to support that is to have the person pick their own pet," she said.
Turlock Animal Services sees over a thousand dogs and cats come through the shelter each year, many of those strays found on the streets of town said Jackson.
The shelter impounded 1,226 dogs in 2015. Of those, 528 were adopted and 342 were returned to their owners. In 2015 the shelter impounded 1,245 cats, of which 222 were adopted and 10 returned to their owners.
"When you adopt a pet from a shelter you're promoting responsible pet ownership and giving a pet a home," said Jackson.
The December discount is just one way the City is encouraging pet adoption.
The Turlock Management Association for Public Safety sponsors the adoption fees for one pet every month. There is no cost for those wishing to adopt the pet of the month and the adoptee also receives a number of pet food and veterinary service discount coupons.
The Turlock Animal Shelter is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is located at 801 S. Walnut Rd. In December adoption fees are $44 for dogs, which includes the city license, rabies vaccination, microchip, first DHPP vaccination, and spay/neuter surgery, and $20 for cats, which includes microchip and spay/neuter.
The shelter also has ongoing special adoption fees for select pets which are free to a senior citizen or veteran.
All pets available for adoption are listed on the City of Turlock website: www.cityofturlock.org/animalservices/petadoptions and on the shelter's Facebook page: City of Turlock - Turlock Animal Services.