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The Animal Shelter of Pell City will continue its operation at the facility on Airport Road until Sept. 16, when the City of Pell City will launch its own animal control services at the site.

This Christmas, the Pell City Animal Shelter and the St. Clair Humane Society are getting the word out that adopting an abandoned pet for the holidays is an inexpensive way to provide companionship and rescue an animal from an otherwise dismal fate.

Pet adoption is an inexpensive way to provide companionship for area residents and Melinda Wilson, Board member and Pell City Animal Shelter volunteer said those wishing to give a pet for a Christmas gift have the pick of the litter this year.

“We are full,” said Wilson. “A lot people think that in the winter time shelters aren’t full, but we are. We have about 150 animals and we have cats, kittens and dogs—big and small. A lot of times around Christmas we don’t have kittens, but this year we do still have some kittens.”

The shelter offers anything that you could find in a pet store. Occasionally full-blooded dogs are abandoned at the shelter and as of last week there were still a few available for adoption.

One of the shelter’s requirements is that all kittens and puppies be spayed or neutered before leaving with their new owner.

Another good reason for adopting a pet is that the animals surrendered at the shelter come with information about the animal’s temperament and how it behaves around children, the elderly and other people.

“We have several dogs who were surrendered because their owners were moving into apartments and they were in a situation where they couldn’t have animals anymore,” Wilson said. “So they’re housebroken, leash trained. These are dogs that would just really like to have a home for Christmas.”

Over half of the pets at the shelter are owner surrender.

Another thing to keep in mind when giving a pet for Christmas is that giving the person the option of choosing their pet is a way to avoid having a new pet around during the confusion of getting used to a new home during the sometimes stressful holiday.

“We would prefer that people do not give pets on Christmas day,” Wilson said. “It’s just such a hectic day with people opening presents and there are so many relatives coming in and out of the house and doors are opening and closing all day long. So if you have the new animal in the house it’s not familiar with its surroundings.”

The preferred way to give a pet for a Christmas gift is to give the person who will receive the pet a card saying that they can go and pick out their own animal or even a pet dish that might clue in a child that they will be getting a new companion.

The cost for adopting a pet from the shelter is $100 and the animals come spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, de-wormed, micro chipped and all dogs over six months have been screened for heart worms and all cats have been screened for feline leukemia and feline aids.

For St. Clair residents on the western side of the county who want to adopt a pet for Christmas, the shelter will be showcasing its pets for adoption at the Pet Smart in Trussville off Interstate 59 on Saturday.

To contact the animal shelter, call 814-1567 or to view pets available for adoption online, visit: www.petfinder.org/shelters/AL61.html

Hours of Operation are Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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