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County offers holiday pet tips

CRYSTAL LAKE – This time of year, having a place to call “home” holds special significance.

The staff and volunteers at the McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center work hard to place all of its adoptable animals; however, giving pets as gifts doesn’t always have a happy ending.

Pet ownership is a big responsibility and a long commitment. County officials encourage families to be sure a family is ready to adopt a pet and then decide what type, size and breed of animal would best fit in with the family’s lifestyle.

The age of a child or children is equally important. Different pets are appropriate for different ages.

Adopting from a shelter means giving a homeless pet a new chance at life. The cost is typically lower than from breeders, and often there are discounts on spaying and neutering. Adoption fees include age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm testing, spay/neuter, feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus testing, and a free first veterinarian visit at participating veterinarians.

To view pets available at the McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center, visit www.petfinder.com.

For pets that already have homes, the holidays can be stressful because of changes in routine and the coming and going of visitors. Even a normally calm and docile pet may become agitated enough to bite.

For the safety of a pet and visitors, consider putting a dog in a room away from holiday fare (alcohol, poinsettias and food such as chocolate) and avoid the chance it may exit the home.

The McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center also offers these gift ideas for pets:

• A couple of nice pictures of the pet from the front and side; a good picture will serve another purpose – identifying the animal – if it becomes lost.

• A microchip for the pet or a friend’s pet.

• A new collar with up-to-date tags (name, owner’s name/address, phone numbers).

• A new identification tag or brass plate with information from an old collar.

For information, contact the Animal Control and Adoption Center at 815-459-6222 or visit www.mcdh.info (click on Animal Control link).

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