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Careful on that kitten or puppy for Christmas

Photo of cat and shadow
Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 5, 2013 - Careful on that kitten or puppy for Christmas

While the idea of giving your children that long beg-for pet may create images of Christmas bliss, think first.

Pets take time. Do you have it?

Puppies and kittens explore where you might not want them to be.

Christmas tree? Kittens may climb it. Puppies may drop their own presents near it.

And then there is personality. Maybe more with dogs than cats, research the breed to try to match your household situation with a temperament that fits.

The ASPCA offers a list of questions your entire family should consider before picking out a pet.

My house has two rescued animals, as they are now called, but only the elder was really rescued: He was in the jaws of a playful dog when children yelled and the marmalade fuzz ball escaped.

The younger was but a kitten when my daughter just went “looking” at the Humane Society.

Another warning: Do not let children who are about to leave for college go “looking” at the Humane Society, Tenth Life, Stray Rescue, Animal House, the Animal Protective Association or any of the other wonderful places that take in strays and find them homes.

But if you are ready to adopt, do go to one of these great places. And if you choose the Humane Society of Missouri before Dec. 31, you’ll get 10 “Santa Paws” Scratchers. A winning ticket could help pay for the food, treats, shots, bedding, toys…

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.

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