By Christine Peets, Staff Intern
OSWEGO, NY – On cold and blustery days, not much can make you feel as good as cuddling with a warm, furry pet.
Despite the cold weather and snow, dozens of people showed up to the YMCA Armory this weekend for the 15th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption.
H4TH is a three-month adoption service that helps save the lives of orphaned pets by educating people about the importance of pet adoption.
More families are likely to adopt a pet during the holiday season than any other time of year.
H4TH tries to bring awareness to the public about the importance of adopting animals as opposed to supporting mills and backyard breeders.
There was a time when adopting pets as gifts was frowned upon by shelters. Because of this, the attention shifted from shelters to mills and breeders, leaving countless orphaned animals.
Since 1999, when Helen Woodward Animal Center organized H4TH in California, it has been a growing organization.
More than 3,500 pet adoption agencies, facilities and rescue-groups have helped make H4TH the largest pet adoption agency. The awareness promoted by the organization has saved eight million pets since its inception.
According to H4TH, in 2000, they grew to include 130 groups in five states and during the second holiday season, they matched 19,998 orphaned pets with new families.
Last year during the three-month adoption session, more than 1.3 million animals were given homes according to a H4TH board member.
Dozens of people visited Saturday’s event to adopt, show available pets or become educated.
Sherry, a volunteer foster parent for the Humane Society, brought her orphaned cats in hopes of finding homes for them.
“The H4TH program is a great way for the public to meet adoptable dogs and cats,” said Sherry, a returning foster parent.
Kittens such as 10-week old Perry, are in need of a good home.
There is a three-month adoption period provided by H4TH.
Serious inquiries can still find participating shelters at animalcenter.org/home4theholidays