Santa Claus hopes to deliver Christmas cheer to some local dogs and cats a little early this year with the help of the community.

The Humane Society of Jackson County will have its annual Bring Christmas to the Animals open house and donation event from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the animal shelter at 1109 W. Avenue G at Freeman Field.

“We will have the shelter open to the public to allow people to see the animals and to donate items (the animals) need, and there will be refreshments too,” shelter manager Julie Swain said.

More than 600 stray, abandoned or lost animals have come through the shelter this year, with spring and summer seeing the highest intake of animals. Fall and winter, however, can still be busy at times, explaining the current need for supplies, she said.

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“We’ve received nine dogs in one day (recently), and we only have so many kennels,” Swain said.

Topping the list of needed supplies are cleaning products, including bleach, paper towels, laundry detergent, garbage bags and animal-focused products such as non- clumping cat litter, Purina-brand dog food, and non-rawhide dog and cat treats. Those items, along with any monetary donations, may be left at the shelter Saturday.

Visitors also will have a chance to tour the facility and meet some of the animals, such as Eden, a 2-year-old shepherd/husky mix, and Pumpkin Spice Latte, a 2-year-old domestic short-haired cat, who has called the shelter home since Oct. 18.

Part of the goal of the open house is to find homes for animals.

Kittens and puppies are always adopted quickly, Swain said. Older animals, however, have their own strong points, because they are generally calmer and more manageable, she added.

“We want people that come visit to have a positive experience (and) see it’s a clean, healthy environment for the animals, and it’s better than them living on the street,” Swain said.

It’s always hard to determine what animals might be available at the shelter because it changes daily with adoptions and those taken in, she added.

If someone finds an animal they would like during the open house, they can start the adoption paperwork right away.

“We do perform somewhat of a background check; we want to make sure that the people are a good fit for the animal as well,” she said.

Shelter officials also want to ensure the new home for the animal is safe and that the family will take care of it.

The shelter provides medical assistance for the animals, spaying and neutering them and making sure they are up to date on their vaccinations before they are adopted.

The society finds homes for about 25 animals a month.

It does euthanize some, but not for lack of space. That procedure is limited to aggressive animals or those that are sick or injured, to relieve the animal’s suffering, Swain said.

Most of the animals the shelter is unable to adopt are transferred to other shelters that have higher demand.

The shelter operates primarily on funds from the city of Seymour but also relies on donations from residents and businesses and several annual fundraisers. The shelter only houses animals picked up by the city’s animal control officer, which means some animals are there temporarily until they are returned to their owners.

If you go

What: Humane Society of Jackson County’s annual Bring Christmas to the Animals open house and donation event

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: 1109 W. Avenue G at Freeman Field

Information: 812-522-5200

Author photo
Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7057.