PAWS AND PAGES: Away for the holidays

A female staff member at a kennel supervises several large dogs playing together. ADOBE STOCK PHOTO 

During times where there are three-day weekends or even the weekend leading up to a holiday, there are a large number of people calling the Humane Society of Imperial County wanting to surrender their pets into the shelter.

The reasoning for these pet owners needing to surrender their pets during these specific times is that they are going out of town and cannot take their pets with them, or they cannot find anyone to take care of their pets.

The team and volunteers at the shelter feel that traveling should not be a reason why a pet should be put into a shelter, as there are several other options.

Although we do our very best to make the animals in our care as happy and as comfortable as we possibly can, the shelter environment can be scary to some pets. Shelters are noisy; they have a lot of unfamiliar smells, and most often they are overcrowded. All of these factors make it very hard for some pets to adjust to the change and this makes finding them a home that much more difficult.

What it seems to boil down to is that many of the Imperial Valley residents do not know what resources are available to them; thus they do not take advantage of them. We often refer pet owners to local people and businesses who deal with pet boarding or pet sitting for those who leave town and cannot take their pets with them.

El Centro Animal Clinic and Desert Veterinary Group are both local veterinary offices that provide boarding services to the community.

Buddy Sweets is a local business that specializes is in both doggy day care and boarding.

Mike Burk, who has many years of experience in dog training and behavior, also provides an exceptional pet sitting and dog walking service to our community.

Cathy Dobson (a local animal lover, advocate and frequent volunteer at the Humane Society of Imperial County) both provide exceptional pet sitting services to our community.

Each of these local professionals have years of experience in the companion animal care field. Whoever you decide to board your pets with or have pet sit for you, you can be assured your pets will be treated kindly and will be well cared for while you and your family are away.

Although these services are not free, we cannot put a price on the happiness, health and well-being of our fur-kids. In any case, being with the family ultimately is what is best for your pets. As the saying goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Please remember that everyone deserves to be with their family and loved ones during this time of the year, especially our fur-kids.

If you and your family have plans to leave town this holiday season and cannot take your pets with you, please make the necessary inquiries and arrangements for pet care today to ensure your pet is happy, comfortable and safe while you are away from home.


Buddy Sweets

(760) 353-7833

Cathy Dobson

(760) 550-5718

Desert Veterinary Group

(760) 355-0141

El Centro Animal Clinic

(760) 352-1911

Mike Burk

(760) 554-6569


Devon Apodaca is executive director of the Humane Society of Imperial County.

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