CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas remains a state with one of the highest stray animal populations. So, shelters try to move quick to get them adopted. The holidays have made for a perfect time for them to find forever homes, for many different reasons.
“Holidays aren’t very special for everybody," Sarah Rodriguez said, live release coordinator at Corpus Christi Animal Care Services. "It’s really a hard time for some people who have lost loved ones. Sometimes they lose their family pets and they just really need to fill that hole in their heart and the best way to do it is getting a pet. Pets make you over-the-moon happy, especially when you find the right one.”
Meagan Garza walked into Gulf Coast Humane Society on her birthday on Friday. She was picking up Sam, a Labrador mix, who is going to be a family gift and much more.
“A lot of people are dealing with the holidays alone and especially with everything that’s been going on lately," Garza said. "And to me, animals help with that. I have a dog at home that’s really helped us get through it and I feel that this dog, Sam, too is going to help us get through it. Them too, they need to be loved, especially during the holidays and so it’s going to be great.”
To help with this Corpus Christi Animal Care Services partnering with Bissell Pet Foundation, have reduced adoption fees from $25 to $10.
“They don’t need to be spending, not just the holiday, but any time of their life in the shelter, in the kennels," Rodriguez said. "And I think, to me, for the animals it means that they get a chance to get out of the shelter to spend holidays with a family. Spend holidays in a warm bed with a family that loves them.”
It’s for those dogs and cats that have been spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and had a rabies shot.
“Literally, ready to go," said Rodriguez. "They don’t need anything else. They get adopted they can go home. We also perform heart worm tests on them to make sure the adopters know if they’re heart worm positive or heart worm negative.”
Rodriguez said so many times, adoptions end up back on the street. She speaks to everyone about being financially and emotionally ready.
“When I do adoptions for people, is making sure I instill in them as much as possible that you are taking this pet for life," said Rodriguez. "We want these animals to go to a home for the rest of their lives, not temporary.”
"When you adopt an animal it's really special because they get to be somewhere for the holidays," said Cierra Barela, marketing coordinator at Gulf Coast Humane Society. "And they get to spend the festivities with you. So, it's really special to give them a home right before that. But an animal is for life."
Many have been stopping in the Gulf Coast Humane Society to adopt and donate. Although they won't have reduced adoption fees, during this season if you donate, you're given a treat to put in one of the animals stockings. They each have one hanging outside their kennel.
Not only is it supporting the animals, but donations keep the non-profit able to care for the animals.
“During the holiday season we love to give back to our community," Barela said. "So, getting donations allows us to do that it allows us to bring in more dogs. When we get adoptions that’s also a donation so it helps us a lot give back.”
Reduced adoption fees are only at Corpus Christi Animal Care Services. It began Dec. 6 and will run through Dec. 18. On that Saturday, those that have adopted will get the chance to take a photo with their new pet and Santa Clause.