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Dozens of pets find loving homes during free pet adoption weekend

Jacksonville Humane Society works to ease overcrowding with free furry love

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Many furry faces looking for forever homes found them this weekend as the Jacksonville Humane Society offered free pet adoptions at the PetSmart on Monument Road.

While cats and dogs can offer new owners love and affection, experts suggest you should prepare your home for a new pet, especially before the holidays.

The Jacksonville Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, and that means many times, they are packed with pets that need loving homes.

"We were full months ago. We are beyond full. Right now, we desperately need people to come up and foster, adopt and volunteer," volunteer Banyan Botkin said.

Bringing home a pet this time of year can be stressful, but there are ways to prepare.

"Make sure when you bring new people and new experiences to take it slow with their animals and to always honor their level of security and trust with you. Just take it slow," Botkin said.

Holidays are a busy time of year. The Humane Society recommends not traveling over the holidays if you adopt, but rather staying home with your new pet to get into a routine and bond.

You'll also want to make sure you have the time to work with your pet and start training.

"Generally. there is about a week transition when you bring home the new pet that you get comfortable with them and they comfortable with you. Anytime after that is a great time to start training, because the things that may bother you only get bigger as a dog gets more comfortable in your home," said Ashley Megonigle, with PetSmart.

Experts say preparation is key, especially during the holidays.

Although it may be tempting to share holiday food with your pet, you should avoid that, because you don't  know how it could affect your pet.  Usually, vet's offices are closed over the holidays, so you could be stuck at the emergency animal clinic with an unexpected big bill. 

About the Authors:

Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.