The holiday season is a time of goodwill, charity, and peace. This year let your holiday spending be a statement of compassion toward all creatures who share the planet. Here are some animal and eco-friendly gift giving ideas:
Give to a Charity
Give a charity gift card where the recipient chooses which charity receives the money. You make the donation, and your recipient chooses which charity receives the money. You can even customize your charity gift card with your own image and message and let your recipient support the cause they are most passionate about. Why give more stuff when you can give a donation gift that makes the world a better place? For more information, visit: tisbest.org
Adopt an Endangered Animal
Adopt an endangered animal through Defenders of Wildlife starting at $25. Defenders of Wildlife has over 25 endangered animals you can choose from to adopt. Adoptions are a wonderful way to protect endangered wild animals and share the importance of conservation. I have given this as a gift to young children and they love it! Adoptions start at $25. With the adoption you receive a cuddly plush animal, activities booklet, personalized certificate of adoption, 5x7 photo, animal fact sheet and gift wrap with eco-friendly reusable tote. Defenders of Wildlife are encouraging wolf adoptions right now as aerial hunters are gunning down wolves from airplanes in Alaska or running them to exhaustion and then shooting them at point-blank range. You can give a special tax-deductible gift to help save the lives of these magnificent animals by adopting a wolf, wolf pack or wolf mom and pup for a loved one or friend. For more information on adopting an endangered animal, visit: www.wildlifeadoption.org
Buy Recycled Gifts
The company Uncommon Goods uses recycled glass, used wine barrels, old sweaters and even fire hoses to make new products. For more information, visit: uncommongoods.com
Help schools and non-profit organizations when you buy gifts. Kids Go Global is an on-line store and school fundraising catalog, which enables Schools and Non-Profit Organizations to fundraise in an ethical way. For more information, visit: kidsgoglobalshop.com
Give Organic Gift Baskets
GotFruit has an array of Organic Gift Baskets filled with things like: organic nuts, organic fruit, organic sweets, organic wine and also a combo of the 4. Send the delicious treats in towers, gift baskets or crates. There is even the option of joining the GotFruit Organic Fruit and Nut Club to receive these treats monthly if you choose. For more information, visit goldenstatefruit.com
Give to Local Charities in Lieu of Gifts
Instead of giving physical gifts this holiday season, why not donate to a local charity in honor of your recipient. Most charities will mail your gift recipient a notification upon request. You can also avoid traffic and long lines as most of these charities allow for on-line donations. Here are some local animal charities in Santa Barbara to choose from:
Don’t Give Animals as Gifts Animals given as gifts are often unwanted after the holiday season has ended. Instead of giving a live animal as a gift, place a stuffed animal in a box filled with needed pet supplies – food, leashes, toys, etc. Then you can suggest a trip to your local humane society to adopt a pet if your recipient is ready. By doing this, you will also ensure that the recipient of your thoughtful gift bonds with the pet before they make a lifelong commitment.
Don’t Forget Gifts for Your Pets
But before you purchase any gifts, check out this ratings guide to make sure you’re not stuffing your pet’s stocking with toxic toys: healthystuff.org
By thinking of animals during this holiday shopping season, you will not only save lives, but you will share the gift of compassion with those you care about.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services would like to share what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving.
1. Volunteers. Volunteers are the heartbeat of our shelters. Without their dedication and hard work many of the animals would go without knowing true love. Volunteers make adoptions happen and ensure that the homeless animals of Santa Barbara County do not go without.
2. Veterinarians in our County. From Santa Maria to Santa Barbara, the veterinarians in our area help to keep our pets healthy. Many of them donate their time and services to improve the quality of life of homeless and abandoned animals in Santa Barbara County.
3. Responsible pet owners. Responsible pet owners spay and neuter their animals to prevent unwanted litters from coming into the overcrowded shelters. Responsible pet owners license their dogs to keep them and the community safe. Should their animals get lost, responsible pet owners visit the shelter and continue checking the shelter every few days.
4. Adopters. Animal Services is thankful to the thousands of people who open their homes and hearts to a shelter pet. Adopters change the world by changing the life of a homeless animal. There are always more animals in our shelters than homes available so every adoption is a reason to celebrate.
5. Non Profits. Non Profits are our partners who keep our shelters operating at the highest level. Our internal organizations, ASAP, CAPA, BUNS, K9 PALS, the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation, and so many individual volunteers, help Animal Services provide the best level of care, activities for enrichment, adoption incentives, and much more to the animals we serve. So many external organizations make a huge difference by helping animals throughout the County in many different ways, providing disaster relief, and other support throughout the year.
6. Dedicated Animal Services staff. Our staff works tirelessly to keep a 7-day a week, 24 hour a day operation thriving to serve the people and animals of Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services is proud to serve the animals and people of Santa Barbara County and wishes everyone a safe and a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Adoptable Pet of the Week
Daultry is a volunteer favorite. He’s a 6 year old male Chiweenie. We wonder why he has been here so long and we all agree it ‘s just because he tends to get overlooked. When the other little dogs in Little Dog Land are jumping up and down and clambering for attention and lap time; he steps to the side and waits calmly and patiently for his turn. Daultry has lovingly been titled as an“uncomplicated” pooch and it fits him perfectly.He’s happy and alert but also very calm and easy going. He’s super affectionate and gets along great with all other dogs. Daultry has impeccable manners. He is active and fit and would be a super walking/hiking partner. He could also be very encouraging and supportive by sitting right next to or at your feet as you write, sew, work, paint, watch TV etc. If you toss a ball, he will bring it back. He’s an absolutely delightful dog and so much cuter in person! Come in and see for yourself what a perfect little canine ambassador he is. Maybe he’s the special dog you’ve been looking for and you just don’t know it yet?
To inquire about adopting Daultry, visit DAWG in Santa Barbara. DAWG (Dog Adoption and Welfare Group) is a no-kill not for profit dog rescue/adoption organization located at 5480 Overpass Road in Goleta. For more information, call (805) 681-0561. View more adoptable dogs at www.sbdawg.com. The public is invited to stop by and look around every day from 9 a.m. To 4 p.m. DAWG relies on volunteers to take care of all the dogs, so if you love dogs, think about volunteering! Students are able to fulfill their volunteer community service requirement by volunteering. Volunteer orientations are generally held every other Saturday at 10 a.m. Contact DAWG for the next meeting.
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Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions, www.animaladoptionsolutions.com