Stray facility provides tips for 'forever friends'
Meet Titus, a six-week-old male domestic short hair available for adoption at the Fort Rucker stray facility. She is sweet and friendly. It costs $81 to adopt Titus and other animals at the facility, which includes all up-to-date shots, microchip and neutering. For more information on animal adoptions, call the stray facility at 255-0766.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Giving or receiving a new pet can be a great way to brighten up the holiday season, but the Fort Rucker Stray Facility encourages those looking to add a new furry Family member to take caution before adopting.

"If people do want to adopt at Christmas, we always recommend that they have the permission of the person that they're going give the pet to -- no surprises. An animal can be a 10-20 year commitment," said Lisa Moore, animal health aide at the stray facility.

The Fort Rucker Stray Facility is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and houses up to 11 dogs and 10 cats that are strays or relinquished by their owners. All animals brought into the stray facility are held for three business days to allow owners to claim them, and are considered strays on the fourth day.

Moore noted that while there are many pets in need of homes this holiday season, potential owners should be prepared.

"Always make sure you have the time, energy, supplies and a back-up plan before you adopt. [Before adopting], make sure that you're going to have enough time for the basic training and a yard that is secure," she said, adding that many of the animals at the facility arrive there because former owners could not provide these basics.

The winter and holiday season also causes some obstacles for pets and pet owners, including protection from the cold and proper amounts of playtime.

"[This time of year] can be a stressful time for animals and owners. Be sure that you have spare time for your pets during Christmas and a place for them to stay. Dogs are domesticated. They prefer to be inside with their Family," said Moore.

If a pet must be outside during the winter, Moore emphasize that they should be out no more than a few hours at a time and never overnight. Inside pets should also be given ample attention if they must be left alone for many hours of the day.

She suggested having a neighbor visit, hiring a dog walker or doggie day care, crate training or owners visiting their pet during lunch time. Pets should also always have clean bedding and lots of water and food.

For those interested in adopting a pet, the pets from the Stray Facility will receive their first round of shots, microchip, spaying or neutering and tests for feline leukemia, feline AIDS and heartworms; all provided by the $81 adoption fee.

"If you're looking for a forever friend, this is the place to go. We adopt to military and civilians, anyone on or off post may come visit us. The facility is clean and sanitary and the animals have plenty of room to play. We have a good selection of pets and competitive prices," Moore said.

Moore said that the Stray Facility gets a lot of help from the community, including many requests to volunteer. While the facility is not allowed to have volunteers due to safety regulations, the need for material assistance is always present. Currently, the facility needs blankets for the outdoor sleeping quarters as its most needed items.

Donations can be dropped off at the commissary drop box during regular hours, at the vet clinic from 8 4 p.m. or at the Stray Facility from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the Stray Facility, call 255-0766.

Page last updated Thu December 15th, 2011 at 11:43