Pet adoption a warm, fuzzy gift idea | CraigDailyPress.com

Pet adoption a warm, fuzzy gift idea

Janelle O'Dea

Kelly Hepworth, veterinarian at Bear Creek Animal Hospital, plays with Gilligan, an approximately 3-month-old kitten, while resident cat Cleo watches. Gilligan is up for adoption at Bear Creek Animal Shelter.

— If Yampa Valley residents find themselves with no Christmas gift, they need to look no farther than Bear Creek Animal Shelter.

Bear Creek currently has 15 cats and three dogs up for adoption: a basset hound, a pit bull and boxer mix and a Labrador mix.

Bear Creek Animal Hospital Veterinarian Kelly Hepworth said he always hopes for more adoptions but doesn't want it to just be an impulse gift. As the Humane Society of Moffat County's website states, "Your pet is a family member, so thoughtful consideration of its future is important."

Hepworth said there are not necessarily more or less animals at the shelter around this holiday season compared to other times of year.

"This is probably low," Hepworth said. "We'd have to compare numbers, but my gut feeling is that we're less."

The vet said the spay/neuter program has been working well, and that's helped bring drop-off numbers down.

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The Humane Society of Moffat County offers reduced-cost spay or neuter surgeries with local veterinarians. In addition, improved economic situations and a subsequent better outlook on the future may keep people from dropping their pets off, he said.

Winter is not the time cats typically ovulate, Hepworth said. The shelter can have upward of 30 cats and kittens during the springtime.

He took a furry and very excited approximately 3-month-old kitten, Gilligan, out of his kennel and began playing with him on the cat tree. "We've got some great cats," he said.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @jayohday.