The Giving Season

Animal lovers encouraged to support Pasadena Humane this Christmas
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

With Pasadena Humane, helping animals is not just about adoption. Animal lovers can contribute in other ways.

The holiday season is a great time to consider it, according to Dia DuVernet, Pasadena Humane’s president and chief executive officer.

“Consider fostering animals,” she says. “It’s the perfect time to get the animals out of the shelter and into a home for the holidays. We love for people to adopt animals. But around the holidays, make sure you have plenty of time at home to help a new animal or pet adjust.”

Gift givers who are uncomfortable surprising someone with an animal can do the next best thing: make an adoption appointment so the whole family can be involved in choosing a pet. 

“You could give animals as gifts for the holidays. Research that has been done says it tends to work well,” DuVernet says. “There were concerns at one point that animals given as gifts were often returned to the shelter. Now we see there’s no harm in giving an animal as a gift.”

Pasadena Humane is a donor-supported, nonprofit organization that provides animal care and services for homeless and owned animals in the Greater Los Angeles Area. 

For more than 117 years, it has promoted compassion and care for all animals through lifesaving programs and services to the community that support the human-animal bond and keep pets healthy and safe. In 2020, Pasadena Humane had a combined 91.5% live release rate for dogs, cats and critters and saved 100% of healthy and safe animals. 

With the supply chain issues this holiday season, some gifts may not be available for loved ones. DuVernet has an idea.

“You might not be able to buy the items you’re looking for,” she says. “Instead, give a donation to the shelter in honor of someone as a holiday gift. Get a nice card and notate a donation has been made in their honor. They could feel good about having helped a shelter.”

The shelter could use a little help with supplies as well. Patrons are invited to look at Pasadena Humane’s wishlist on Amazon and/or the pet supplies for sale at the shelter shop. Its greatest needs are towels, dry and wet cat food, dog and cat toys, dog and cat treats, cat litter, dog beds, and “miracle nipples” and kitten milk replacement. 

“You can order items for off our wish list on Amazon,” she said. “Even better, order items from our shelter shop which has lots of wonderful pet supplies. If you order them from our shelter shop, the items can go to the shelter animals and all the proceeds support the shelter, too.”

Since she came onboard with Pasadena Humane in June 2019, DuVernet has been impressed with the community’s support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been open as an essential business since day one,” she said. “We have animal control officers in the community and taking care of the animals in our shelter.

“During the pandemic, a lot of families stepped up to foster animals in their homes. We had very generous support from our community. We also learned, with the animals, that it worked really well for them to be in foster homes until they were ready for adoption. Then they could move easiest into adoptive homes.”

Without visitors to the shelter, the animals thrived in the quiet, she added. 

“With less human traffic, they were able to sleep more,” she said. “That really helped to reduce stress and illness in the animals. 

“We were doing adoptions by appointment so we could personalize the adoption experience. We staggered the times, but we’re going to continue with that appointment-based adoption system.”

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