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The holiday season is a time of warmth, generosity, and compassion. 


Every year, countless shelter animals spend the holidays longing for a loving home. In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, there's a wonderful opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of shelter animals.  


In today’s blog post we want to share the many practical tips and meaningful ways in which we can bring joy and kindness to shelter animals during the holiday season. From volunteering at local shelters to adopting a pet, there are numerous avenues through which we can spread the holiday spirit and give shelter animals the love and care they deserve.  


This holiday season, our team at REM Web Solutions has partnered with the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth (HSKWSP) in an effort to find a loving home for as many of the shelter pets as possible. Our team visited their Kitchener location this fall and spent a morning volunteering their time to assist with the many tasks that pet shelters require. It truly takes a village to run these pet shelters and we are glad we could make a meaningful impact right here in our local community.  


The Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society and the Stratford Perth Humane Society merged to become The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth in 2012. They now operate as one organization, serving multiple municipalities, offering various services including animal adoption, educational programs, low-cost veterinary services, and outreach assistance to pet owners in need.  


Visit their website to see the dogs and cats available for adopting, complete with their profiles and breed information. When you are ready to make an adopting decision, please fill out this application and an adoption coordinator will be in touch with you to arrange a time for you to come in and meet the animal. 




The Holiday Season and Shelter Animals 

The holiday season holds a special place in the hearts of many, but it's also a time when the difficulty of shelter animals becomes particularly critical.


There are several reasons why the holiday season is a pivotal period for shelter animals: 



Increased Surrenders

Unfortunately, during the holidays, shelters often witness an uptick in pet surrenders. Families facing financial hardships or busy schedules may feel overwhelmed, leading to more pets being given up to shelters. 



Reduced Adoption Rates

Paradoxically, while people may want to adopt pets as gifts, they often delay their decisions due to the hectic nature of the holiday season. This can result in longer stays for shelter animals, further exacerbating their stress and loneliness. 



Strained Resources

Shelters face additional challenges during the holidays, including stretched resources, limited staff availability, and overcrowding. These factors make it even more crucial for the community to step in and offer support. 


The holiday season can be a bittersweet time for shelter animals, as they experience unique challenges and heightened loneliness



Separation from Loved Ones

Many shelter animals have been abandoned or surrendered by their previous owners, leaving them separated from the families they once knew and loved. This sense of loss can be particularly poignant during a season focused on togetherness. 



Limited Human Interaction

Shelters may operate with reduced hours or staff during the holidays, resulting in less human interaction for the animals. This isolation can lead to increased stress and anxiety. 



Seeing Others Find Homes

While some lucky shelter animals may find their forever homes during the holidays, others may witness their cage mates getting adopted, which can leave them feeling even lonelier. 



Harsh Weather

In many regions, winter weather can be harsh, and shelter animals may spend more time indoors, longing for a warm and loving home to call their own. 




Spreading Joy through Adoption 

There are many benefits of adopting a shelter animal during the holidays. We’ve written an entire blog post on this topic last month, check it out: "The Benefits of Adopting a Shelter Pet."


  • Companionship
    Adopting a shelter animal during the holidays provides companionship and emotional support during a time when many people seek warmth and connection. 

  • Saving Lives
    By adopting, you're giving a shelter animal a chance at a better life and saving them from the potential of overcrowded shelters or euthanasia. 

  • Unconditional Love
    Shelter animals often show immense gratitude and love to their new families, making the holiday season even more special. 

  • Teaching Compassion
    Adopting a shelter pet during the holidays can teach children the values of empathy, compassion, and responsible pet ownership. 


Tips On How to Choose the Right Shelter Pet for Your Family 


Assess Lifestyle

Assess your family's lifestyle, including activity level, living space, and time availability, to determine what type of pet would be the best fit. 


Consider Age and Size

Factors like the age and size of the pet should align with your family's preferences and capabilities. 


Meet and Greet

Spend time interacting with different shelter animals to find one that resonates with your personality and energy level. 


Consult Shelter Staff

Consult with knowledgeable shelter staff who can provide insights into the temperament and history of the animals, helping you make an informed decision. 



There is always the option of fostering a pet before committing to adoption as a way to ensure compatibility. 




Supporting Animal Shelters 

Local animal shelters work hard to brighten and better the lives of these pets. There are many ways to support animal shelters, both this holiday season but also year-round. Here are a few ways to consider. 



Support Animal Shelters Financially


  • Direct Donations
    Make direct monetary donations to your local animal shelters or reputable animal welfare organizations. These funds help cover essential expenses like food, medical care, and shelter maintenance. 

  • Monthly Giving
    Set up monthly or recurring donations, which provide shelters with a reliable source of income to support their ongoing operations. 

  • Sponsorship Programs
    Consider sponsorship programs, where donors can contribute to the care of specific animals, covering their medical bills, food, and shelter costs.

  • Legacy Giving
    You can include animal shelters in your wills or estate planning, ensuring long-term support for shelter animals. 



Donating Supplies To Shelters 


Essential Supplies

Donate pet essentials such as food, bedding, toys, and grooming supplies, which help shelters provide a comfortable environment for animals. 


Medical Supplies

There is always a need for medical supplies like medications, bandages, and veterinary equipment to ensure the health and well-being of shelter animals. 



Promote Fundraising Initiatives or Events 


  • Awareness Campaigns
    Participate in or organize awareness campaigns or events to raise funds and educate the community about shelter animals. 

  • Adoption Drives
    Promote adoption events hosted by shelters, which not only help animals find homes but also generate funds through adoption fees. 

  • Online Fundraisers
    There is immense power of online platforms for fundraising, including crowdfunding campaigns, social media fundraisers, and charity events. 

  • Collaborations
    Collaborations can happen between local businesses and shelters to organize charity events, where a portion of proceeds goes to the shelter. 




Team members from REM Web Solutions partner with the Human Society in Kitchener.


Our team at REM Web Solutions is proud to partner with the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth this holiday season and we want to encourage you to visit their website, or visit their location at 250 Riverbend Drive, in Kitchener Monday to Friday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. There are so many dogs, cats and other small animals looking for a loving home this holiday season.  


Visit their website to see the dogs and cats available for adopting, complete with their profiles and breed information. When you are ready to make an adopting decision, please fill out this application and an adoption coordinator will be in touch with you to arrange a time for you to come in and meet the animal. 


We encourage you to keep Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth in mind if you’re looking to bring a pet home this holiday season.


From our team at REM Web Solutions to your families and loved ones, we wish you a heartwarming and wholesome holiday season! 




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