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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Pets desperately need homes as Sumter County Animal Shelter filled to brink

With a shelter filled to the brink with adoptable dogs and cats, Sumter County Animal Services has plenty of furry “gifts” desperately looking for their forever home.

Animal Services is holding a special Home for the Holidays adoption/fostering event from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 at the The Villages Sumter County Service Center at 7375 Powell Road in Wildwood. The Home for the Holidays adoption event will then continue until Dec. 23 at Animal Services at 819 CR 529, Lake Panasoffkee.

While many pets get adopted or bought around the holidays, too often many are brought to shelters after the New Year for various reasons. Pet owners, or potential pet owners, must keep in mind
that with a new pet there are always some challenges at first. The family and the pet need to bond. Sometimes it happens quickly; sometimes it can take weeks or even a few months. Your home is new to the pet, and some need time to get used to their new surroundings and life. Think of starting a new job: it takes time to get acclimated to coworkers, the company and the work environment. Some keys to keep in mind with pet ownership include:

• If you already have a pet, use caution during introductions.
• Allow your new pet to familiarize itself with its new home.
• Introduce your pets in controlled situations.
• Give them time; do not force them together or leave them unattended. Praise, praise, praise; and give lots of rewards for good behavior.

When introducing a cat to a dog, DO NOT hold the cat in your arms.
Give your pets separate food and water bowls, and feed in separate spaces.
Be mindful that conflicts may arise when toys, food or other high-value items are present. Some dogs like to chew on Christmas decorations and presents, and some cats like to climb Christmas trees. Let them know what they can’t do.

Learn more at https://www.sumtercountyfl.gov/adopt or www.sumtercountyfl.gov/foster.

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