OKEECHOBEE – What do the dogs at Trail of Hope Rescue want for Christmas? Forever homes of their own.
While she wishes all of the dogs at the shelter could be home for Christmas, shelter director Samantha Johnson said it’s important those adopting a pet take the responsibility of pet ownership seriously. Adopting is a commitment to take care of that animal for the rest of its life.
Never give an animal as a gift unless you are sure the recipient wants that animal and has the time and resources to care for it properly, she advised. The shelter tries to make good matches between dogs and their new owners. It’s best if the person who will be responsible for taking care of a dog is the one to pick out their new four-legged friend.
Johnson said what the shelter needs most now is volunteers. The shelter operates completely through donations and is staffed by volunteers, she explained.
“Dogs need people,” she said. Interaction with a variety of people is important for the dogs’ socialization. They take the dogs out to public events as often as they can – Trail of Hope dogs recently participated in the Okeechobee Christmas parade. There is always a need for more volunteers at the shelter.
Trail of Hope currently has a wide range of dogs from puppies to senior dogs, and a variety of sizes and breeds. Trail of Hope, 1201 U.S. Highway 98, is just north of the Okeechobee Livestock Market. For more information, see their Facebook page or call 863-357-1101.