December 22, 2012


Pets a holiday gift of joy

Cuddly creatures bring a special kind of Christmas warmth

PetsBob Ellis/staff photographer
Chloe and Jacob VanGorder play with their newly adopted cat Wednesday afternoon at Cortland Community SPCA on McLean Road.

Staff Reporter

CORTLANDVILLE — Best friends Mallory Metzgar and Katie Gray were snapping pictures of their favorite dogs Thursday at the Cortland Community Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Metzgar was taken by a large, exuberant yellow lab mix named Duke, while Gray was leaning toward one of the puppies but unsure if it would be a welcome addition to the house since she recently got a border collie puppy.
Both were hoping their parents would cave and get them a dog for Christmas.
“It’s easier to use the holidays to your advantage,” Gray said.
Metzgar was planning to show her father pictures of Duke in the hope he would be as smitten as she was.
Shelter manager Sandy Snyder says animals as presents around the holidays are not uncommon. She does not discourage people from getting animals as a gift for someone, as long as they know the person really wants a pet.
Snyder has had people come to the shelter to get pets as gifts, saying cats are an easier pet to take on since they are more independent.
She remembers calling a woman whose husband was getting her a kitten as a gift and the woman was ecstatic.
“Animals can bring that kind of joy,” Snyder said, adding that she calls pets the “gift that keeps on giving.”
Dryden resident Peg Hathaway was adopting a calico cat named Elsa on Thursday, saying she wants a cat for companionship since her husband died.
“I think she and I will be a lot of company for each other,” Hathaway said while watching Elsa eat food in her cage Thursday.
Snyder urges people to know the needs of anyone they are getting an animal for. For example, a family who has never had a large dog before would probably be better suited for a small dog and a “cat person” may prefer a cat to a dog.
“I personally don’t have a problem with people giving pets as gifts as long as they’ve consulted the person they are going to give it to,” Snyder said.
Snyder said it is often easier to pick out a kitten for a friend because most anyone will be happy with a kitten.
Snyder said the shelter has a good mix of dogs and cats that are looking for a loving “forever home.”
The shelter is focusing on adopting out one cat in particular, a 10-year-old black cat named Sarah, who has a crinkled ear and needs tender loving care, Snyder said.
The cat came to the shelter pregnant, hungry and in need of dental work. She has been taken care of and is now ready to be adopted to a person who understands cats, Snyder said.
Sarah would have to be the only cat in the house as she likes to be the “queen bee,” Snyder said.
Dan Seils was leaving the shelter Thursday with a bag of dog chow for his new 7-month-old dog Ripley, a pitbull mix he adopted from the shelter last week. The dog was intended to be a gift for his children, ages 7 and 8, but they could not wait.
Seils said he likes adopting animals from the SPCA, saying they are usually well behaved and very appreciative of finding a home.


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