Community News

Helpful Holiday Adoption Hints And New Year Goals To Enrich The Lives And Well-Being Of Families & Their Beloved Pets

Photo courtesy of North Shore Animal League America

North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, aims to ensure those planning to add an animal to their families during the holidays have as much information as possible to help make the experience of bringing a new pet into one’s home as stress-free, healthy, and happy as possible.

Helpful Holiday Adoption Hints And New Year Goals To Enrich The Lives And Well-Being Of Families & Their Beloved Pets

The holidays are a popular time to bring a four-legged addition into the household, but this should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision. North Shore Animal League America offers the following advice:


  • Consider your schedule and lifestyle during the holidays before committing to bringing home a new pet. Every family is different; the holiday season can be a very hectic time of year for many whiles for others, this season may be one of quiet gathering and the allows ample time to spend bonding with a new pet.
  • Choosing a new, furry family member can be a terrific bonding experience and should be shared with the entire family. We encourage families to choose the newest addition together – visit your local shelter’s website and then visit the shelter in person. Most adoption centers will have Adoption Counselors (like Animal League America does) who will help you find the best pet (dog/cat, breed, age, size, temperament) for your family and lifestyle.
  • The best way to “surprise friends/family” at the holidays is with a symbolic gift that represents your intent to bring a new animal into the home/family. Adopting an animal is a long-term commitment (13-15 years for a puppy; even longer for a kitten) and should not be an impulsive decision. If you would like to surprise someone with a new dog, cat, puppy or kitten, we encourage purchasing and gift wrapping a new collar, toy, leash, or food dish. That can be the holiday surprise and you can then visit your local adoption center to choose the new pet together.
  • Most shelters have an area to conduct a “Meet & Greet.” If you have pet(s) in the home already, we suggest bringing the family pet with you to meet any potential new additions to the family to ensure they will get along.

Once you’ve introduced a new animal into the home, you will be responsible to care for all their needs. As many humans choose the start of a new year to make commitments to bettering their own lives, this is an ideal time to delineate resolutions that will better the lives of the animals in your life.

Helpful Holiday Adoption Hints And New Year Goals To Enrich The Lives And Well-Being Of Families & Their Beloved Pets


  • I will have my pet(s) spayed/neutered, so as not to contribute to pet overpopulation (which leads to millions of innocent animals being euthanized yearly.)
  • I will take my pet to the veterinarian for routine check-ups and ensure all of my pet’s vaccinations and treatments (flea, tick, heartworm) are up to date.
  • I will pay close attention to my pet’s oral care and begin a teeth-brushing regiment as oral care is integral to my pet’s whole well-being and dental problems can lead to other illnesses in animals.
  • I will keep my pet well-groomed for good health: bathing and brushing the coat, cleaning ears, and trimming nails.
  • I will keep my pet on a proper nutritional plan that is balanced, age-appropriate, and suited to any existing medical conditions.
  • I will make sure my pet gets sufficient exercise to keep them healthy, fit, and well-behaved. By joining my pet in this activity, it will help my own health and well-being as well.
  • I will stimulate my pet’s mind. Teaching him/her new tricks, devoting interactive playtime, and/or introducing new toys can help keep the mind vibrant and decrease boredom.
  • I will show my pet abundant affection on a daily basis, assuring them they are safe, beloved, and an invaluable part of the family.

If you’re not ready to adopt at this time, there are other ways you can help local shelters and rescue organizations:

  1. Donate your time as a volunteer.
  2. Donate items to increase the comfort of animals awaiting adoption (blankets, beds.)
  3. Purchase items from Amazon Wish Lists created by shelter staffs.
  4. Look into becoming a foster parent.
  5. Make a financial donation.

Helpful Holiday Adoption Hints And New Year Goals To Enrich The Lives And Well-Being Of Families & Their Beloved Pets

North Shore Animal League America wishes adopters and their animals a very happy, healthy, peaceful holiday season and Happy New Year. #GetYourRescueOn

For more information on our life-saving work, including adoption, pet health & wellness, the SpayUSA program, volunteering, and donations please visit

North Shore Animal League America is open to the public daily, 10am – 6pm
(No appointments needed.)

**Holiday Hours
Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24: 10am – 6pm
Christmas Day, Monday, December 25: Closed
New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31: 10am – 6pm
New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1: 12pm – 6pm


North Shore Animal League America – the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization—has saved the lives of more than 1.1 million dogs, cats, puppies,  and kittens at risk of euthanasia. Through our many innovative programs, we reach across the country to rescue animals from overcrowded shelters, unwanted litters, commercial breeding facilities, natural disasters and other emergencies and find them responsible, loving homes. As a leader in the no-kill movement, we are dedicated to promoting shelter pet adoptions; encouraging spay/neuter programs; reducing animal cruelty; ending euthanasia; and advancing the highest standards in animal welfare. Please join us in saving the lives of innocent animals by donating to support our lifesaving mission.

Related Posts