Why this holiday season might be the perfect time to adopt a pet

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
Siskiyou Humane Society McCloud board members, Mark Trent, Linn Tyhurst and Anne-Marie Hosler holding the 2020/2021 pet calendar, sit with Ziggy, an adopted companion from the shelter. Together, they plan on building Siskiyou Humane Society and giving homeless animals a voice and a home.

In general, getting a new pet during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is not recommended – but this year is different. With the pandemic, people have adequate time to spend at home with a dog or cat to get them accustomed to their new homes.  

To help match pets with potential forever homes, McCloud's Linn Tyhurst, Anne-Marie Hosler and Mark Trent have joined the board at the Siskiyou Humane Society.

“Everything is in the interest of getting dogs and cats adopted," said Hosler, who began volunteering at SHS by walking the dogs. "We rehabilitate them, teaching them manners and helping them overcome their stressful situations. We socialize them, helping them feel connected and loved."

“We have a rock-solid team at the shelter but there is so much rehabilitation to make some animals adoptable," Hosler added, encouraging other animal lovers to get involved. "There are no limitations on how volunteers can help. And there are job opportunities at the shelter as well.” 

One way to help is to volunteer as a dog walker for the shelter. A one-day training for volunteers helps expose dogs to people and the environment. There is a cat room called the “cattery” where people can visit and play with cats but the pandemic has put some programs on hiatus.  

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The shelter, located on North Mt. Shasta Blvd in Mount Shasta is not supported by the Humane Society of the U.S. The organization relies solely on donations from foundations, planned giving from wills, private donations and grants. They accept donations of animal treats, food, beds, toys and kitty litter.  

Tyhurst said there are ways that the communities can help, including North State Giving Tuesday. Those who donate to the Siskiyou Humane Society during the Dec. 1 event will receive a little paw certificate of appreciation. 

The shelter is also selling 2020/2021 photo calendars. Six of the dogs featured in the calendar are from McCloud and the calendar will be available for the holidays, Tyhurst said.

Trent started as a volunteer dog walker then began working at the thrift store.

“Everyone can have a better life but animals don’t have that control so I help," said Trent. 

Hosler brought a new marketing strategy to the SHS website with fundraising and increased the shelter's online presence, made even more important during the pandemic, when people can't visit the shelter as easily.

Tyhurst,  is now the SHS board's acting secretary. She has previous experience in the field working with Friends 4 Life Animal Rescue in Humboldt County, where she was instrumental in policy and procedures for the shelter and dog walking program. She is the critical eye in everything that needs to be done in the program.  

Trent, with an eye for detail, keeps up with the day-to-day operations. “The shelter has been overcoming challenges ... We’re committed to overcome resilience leading with love to serve the animals and their families in Siskiyou County. Animals have no voice and we want them to be heard.”  

Due to COVID-19, people can see the SHS shelter animals by appointment only.  The number for Siskiyou Humane Society is (530) 926-4052. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram or at their website at siskiyouhumane.org 

Siskiyou Humane Society McCloud board members, Mark Trent, Linn Tyhurst and Anne-Marie Hosler holding the 2020/2021 pet calendar, sit with Ziggy, an adopted companion from the shelter. Together, they plan on building Siskiyou Humane Society and giving homeless animals a voice and a home.