Ten-year old Ellen Smith is trying to talk her parents into letting her bring the three cats home over Christmas.
The idea came from the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "A Dog Named Christmas," which introduced the national Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays program.
Based on a book by author and Petfinder blogger Greg Kincaid, the story follows a developmentally challenged young man who fosters a dog from his local shelter during the holidays and he gets the whole community involved.
The idea inspired Petfinder to start the Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays program, and the Humane Society of Putnam County is hoping that members of the public will open their hearts and homes to its shelter animals this holiday season and embrace the idea of bringing a pet home for the holidays.
HSPC is one of 20,000 organizations across the country participating in the national program, the goal of which is to empty shelter kennels for by encouraging members of the public to invite a needy pet to their home for the holidays.
"This program will not only make this Christmas a happy one for the pet, but will bring love, excitement and joy into the homes of people who perhaps are missing their own loved ones this holiday season," said HSPC director Stephen Bridges.
Bridges believes that even a few days away from the increases an animal's overall happiness.
"This is also a great time for people to foster an animal that usually can't because of busy work schedules," he said. "We would love to have all our adoptable pets go to a home on the 23rd or 24th. They can be returned on the 26th."
The Humane Society will provide all needed supplies for the pet. The organization houses an average population of 60 adoptable animals that can be viewed online at www.peLuLtfinder.com or www.hspcanimals.org.
"We understand that this program is not for every animal lover in Putnam County," said Lynn Bohmer, HSPC president. "Homes filled with the excitement of small children or large family gatherings create too much stress for the animal and for the family."
There is an alternative way for the public to help the shelter.
They are selling "Shelter Babies," a unique way to sponsor one of the shelter's animals. For a donation of $20, the recipient will receive a small, plush look-alike of one of the shelter's adoptable dogs or cats complete with HSPC bandana, story about the animal, gift certificate, and the opportunity to register online to receive updates about him or her.
"This makes a unique gift for any animal-lover, but we also view it as a way to educate children and the rest of the public about the reasons cats and dogs arrive at the shelter and about their life before finding their forever homes," said Bohmer.
"Shelter Babies" may be purchased at the shelter, Kuddles Kennels in Cloverdale or downtown Greencastle at the Partnership Center, 10 ½ N. Jackson Street.
People interested in making this Christmas a happy holiday for a pet in need or who want more information can contact the shelter at 653-5739. Shelter hours are 12-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They are located on CR 240 E just outside Greencastle.