published Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Free pet adoptions possible for low-income residents - Dec. 21

Is a kitten or puppy under the tree a possibility this Christmas?

To introduce some of the cats and dogs of all ages available for adoption, the Humane Educational Society will present Christmas at the Shelter from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21.

Free adoptions will be available to those deemed eligible through the agency’s Tree of Hope. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served, and Santa will be on-site for photos.

The Tree of Hope program, which lasts from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, was begun in 2007 to “give hope” to the 300 animals that HES cares for daily. “No animal should have to spend the holidays without a home of their own,” says a news release.

According to officials, most of the animals came to the shelter lost or abandoned, hungry and homeless. Some have more serious problems that require surgery or special care before they are adopted.

The Tree of Hope helps low-income individuals, the elderly and families who want to adopt an animal but can’t afford the $85 to $90 adoption fee.

All potential adopters will be required to go through HES’ regular screening process to ensure that they can and will offer an animal a permanent loving home.

The Tree of Hope is funded through donations that pay for spay/neuter services, vaccinations, microchipping, food and other necessary care.

According to HES officials, hundreds of animals have been helped through the Tree of Hope every year since 2007.

Names of adopters will be displayed on the Tree of Hope in the HES lobby along with picture ornaments of the adopted animals.

Donations may be made to the Tree at Hope by stopping by the shelter at 212 N. Highland Park Ave.; calling 423-624-5302, ext. 228; or donating online at www.HESChatt.com. Regular hours at the shelter are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday (open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays).

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