News Details

Celebrate the holidays safely with your pets

For Immediate Release: November 22, 2017
Contact:  Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger (856-853-3395) or
Freeholder Daniel Christy (856-853-3383) 

Celebrate the holidays safely with your pets 

(Clayton, NJ) – The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders is reminding pet owners to be cautious during the holiday season so they are not spending the holiday at the animal hospital with their furry friends.

Freeholder Director Robert Damminger said, "The holidays can be a vulnerable time for our pets and the most important way we can protect them is by providing oversight and supervision so that they are not exposed to food or situations that can be harmful to them."

Freeholder Dan Christy, liaison to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter, said, “It is essential during the holiday season to keep your pet safe and healthy, so we ask families to take precautions for their pets safety while entertaining and celebrating.”

Christy added, “Keeping your pet's eating and exercising habits as close to their normal routine as possible is imperative to safeguarding them during the holiday season.”

To ensure your pet’s holidays are safe and carefree, the Gloucester County Animal Shelter offers a few safety tips to keep in mind:

Christmas Trees and Plants
If possible train your dog to stay away from the Christmas tree. Dogs can break ornaments and get cut or swallow the small pieces. Do not use tinsel as cats will try to eat it and can choke. Mistletoe, Holly and Poinsettia plants are popular and colorful this time of year but are very poisonous! Keep plants out of reach of pets, especially those pets that like to chew. 

House Guests
People traffic in the home increases dramatically at this time and can raise the stress levels not only in you but also in your pet. An animal's stress may result in flight or fight instincts. Stressed-out dogs have been known to bite guests or bolt through open doors to escape the noise and confusion. You may not know your pet is missing until many hours and miles later. Some people don't like to have animals around at gatherings so keeping your pet out of sight may be the best thing for you, your pet and your guests.

Animals can get ill drinking and eating rich food that is different from their usual diet. Chocolate is toxic even in small amounts. Under no conditions should guests give your dog or cat alcohol.  Be firm with guests not to slip your dog or cat treats. Turkey meat is not easily digestible and turkey bones are dangerous!

Winter Weather
Winter poses special risks to pets. Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts. Outdoor animals should have a dry, insulated pet house that is out of the wind. Always keep fresh water available. Salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can burn the pads of animals’ feet. Use cat litter or similar absorbent on icy patches. Warm engines in parked cars attract cats. To avoid injury, bang on car hoods to scare them away before starting engines.

Business hours at the Gloucester County Animal Shelter are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Adoption hours are Mondays and Fridays from Noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Noon to 7 p.m.

The Shelter is open on Saturdays from Noon to 4 p.m. for looking at the animals available for adoption, but adoptions cannot be processed on Saturdays. The Shelter is closed on Sunday.  The Shelter also has two off-site adoption centers at the PetSmart stores in Mantua and Washington Townships. Staffed by volunteers for GCAS, adoption hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The adoption process is the same as at the shelter.  The Gloucester County Animal Shelter is located at 1200 N. Delsea Drive (Rt.47) in Clayton.  You can reach the Shelter by calling 856-881-2828.