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Examiner
  • Animal Shelter offering special today

  • Most Christmas presents are given as a surprise.

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  • Most Christmas presents are given as a surprise.
    But for those last-minute shoppers who count the Independence Animal Shelter among their stops today, the surprise element is best left behind, said Jennifer Polston, manager of Animal Field Services.
    “It shouldn’t be,” Polston said of it being a surprise, “because you should be prepared when you are adopting an animal. There are a lot of things that go into that.”
    The shelter, 875 S. Vista Ave., will be open for special hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today for the “A Forever Home for the Holidays” adoption event. About 60 cats and about 30 dogs – capacity level for the shelter, Polston said – are available for adoption.
    Dog adoption fees are reduced to $30, with the purchase of a six-month supply of heartworm preventative supplies. That will cost $20 to $30, depending upon the size of the dog, Polston said.
    Cat adoption fees are reduced to $25, with the purchase of a pet toy from the Animal Shelter’s inventory. Those toys are roughly $10 or less, Polston said. PetSmart in Independence, 4010 S. Bolger Road, also will have shelter cats available for adoption.
    Adoption prices include spay/neuter, a microchip and age-appropriate vaccinations and testing.
    “We want to see them go out the door before Christmas so they are in their homes for Christmas,” Polston said.
    Several years ago, the Animal Shelter sold gift certificates around Christmastime to allow the certificate’s recipient to come into the shelter and choose an animal. The shelter no longer offers those certificates, Polston said, adding that there is a higher risk of owners surrendering an animal back to the shelter this time of year after shortly adopting it.
    “The person who the dog or cat is intended for really needs to come in and form that bond themselves, with the animal,” Polston said. “We hear so many people say, ‘That dog picked us,’ or ‘That cat picked us.’ It’s really, really hard if someone goes out and gets an animal for someone us and then that bond never forms. Those are the animals that we see returned.”
    As 2012 winds down, the year held many success stories for the Animal Shelter, Polston said, with the No. 1 honor going to Switch/Apollo, an abandoned boxer mix who was stabbed and left for dead. Animal Services recovered Switch, and he began a recovery process at the shelter until he was adopted in early February.
    But Switch wasn’t quite ready for a new home. He immediately ran away upon reaching his new owner’s home and went missing for nearly a month before Buckner police recovered him.
    After several months of additional emotional rehab at the Animal Shelter, Switch was adopted in early June and was renamed Apollo. The dog recently visited the shelter with his owners and had his picture taken by the Christmas tree.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This was actually the first time that he was like, ‘Can we just leave?’ He was actually acting like the nervous, spoiled, owned dog,” Polston said. “He really wasn’t as interested in seeing us as he’s been in the past.
    “But, as always, there are so many success stories, just like Switch’s, that the dogs are taken from maybe a bad situation or even just the stray, unrestrained situation where you see them go into good homes and the people follow up and say they are doing great. There are just so many of those, every year.”  
     
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