I have always been a sucker for a schmaltzy book or movie at Christmastime, as long as the story doesn’t sacrifice an animal to pull at the heartstrings in order to squeeze out a few more tears.
Let’s face it. In the world of homeless animals, there are enough tears to go around.
No one knows that better than Humane Society of Greater Akron director, Karen Hackenberry. Her organization is charged with protecting animals from people who neglect, abuse and abandon these thinking, breathing, feeling creatures. It is sponsoring an adoption event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today to find a loving person or family for as many animals at the shelter as possible.
The event, Home for the Holidays, is the theme of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie based on a book by Greg Kincaid called A Dog Named Christmas. The story is of a shelter dog that brings a community together with the help of a very special young man who encourages his neighbors in a rural Midwest community to foster the dogs in a shelter over the holidays. The book shines a light on the healing power a grateful pet can bring into the life of the family.
Today, I am going to stand aside and let Hackenberry talk to you about the plight of the thousands of animals in this area that need loving homes:
“Tis the season of generosity … Holiday spirit evokes joy, introspection and generosity toward others. Our ties to hearth and home and to the bonds of family and friends are rekindled as people and their companion animals gather to celebrate the season. Each New Year is a new beginning and a second chance!
“Our work is all about new beginnings for thousands of rescued animals each year. Right now there are 245 cats, 127 dogs and one rabbit in our shelter or in foster care waiting for their second chances to be part of loving families. Our Home for the Holidays campaign is designed to boost adoptions and to raise the financial support needed to rescue and to heal more deserving animals.
“The airwaves will soon be filled with TV ads that tug at your heart strings with emotional appeals for your support. There are so many animals in need across the nation! We are so grateful for our community and national partners in animal welfare.
“In reality, every hopeful or scared little face and every sad story on TV is repeated right here in our shelter in your community. Sadly, the stories of animal abuse, neglect and abandonment are universal. Gratefully, so are the happy endings! That’s a reason to celebrate this season.” — Karen Hackenberry.
I realize the people who read this column each week are caring individuals who understand that animals feel the same pain and loneliness as their human counterparts. I am so grateful to each of you and for all you do for them.
Today, I am asking you to go one step farther. Please find it in your hearts to make a difference in an animal’s life.
Who knows? Perhaps, just like the Grinch’s heart, yours will grow three sizes this holiday season.
Through the course of the month, you will see many of the local rescue groups and shelters will hold special events with discounted fees to get homeless pets into loving homes for the holidays.
If adopting a pet isn’t an option, please consider making an end-of-the-year donation to help these dedicated groups of people in our community to continue their work.
Home for the Holidays will be held at the shelter, 7996 Darrow Road, Twinsburg.
The adoption fee for cats over 6 months is $5, and dogs over 6 months is $55.
All animals are spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines, micro-chipped, and include a 30-day free trial of pet insurance through 24PetWatch.
Visit www.summit humane.org/adopt to see all the adoptable animals at the shelter or to make a donation.
Other animals in the news
Photos With Santa Claws and Home for the Howlidays Adoption Event — Paws and Prayers animal rescue is holding a special adoption event and photos with Santa and pets from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Chapel Hill PetSmart, 355 Howe Road, Cuyahoga Falls. Bring your camera and a $5 donation for homeless pets and take photos of your pets with Santa. The rescue will also hold a special adoption event at the Brimfield Petco, 3975 Cascades Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Breakfast With Santa — Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, is sponsoring a breakfast buffet with Santa from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Sunday and Dec. 21 in the RainForest. Tickets are $22.50 for adults and $18.50 for children. Children 2 and younger are free. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 216-635-3306. For more information, visit www.clemetzoo.com or call 216-661-6500.
Kathy Antoniotti writes about pets for the Akron Beacon Journal. She is unable to help locate, place or provide medical attention for an individual animal. If you have an idea or question about pets, write her at the Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; call 330-996-3565; or send an email to email@example.com.