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News & Observer reporter Brooke Cain and videographer Travis Long came by the shelter to feature our kitties to promote the Christmas Adoption Event. Our Founder and President Pam Miller also talked about the benefits and challenges of pets as a present.

Miller says if the circumstances are right, it’s perfectly fine to adopt pets at Christmas. Reputable rescue groups already have criteria in place to try to ensure the right pet goes home with the right adopter. That is no different at Christmas.


The problem scenarios — well-meaning adult children who think mom and dad would like a cat, or someone giving a pet to a significant other who may not even want one — aren’t going to happen at SAFE Haven to start with, Miller says.


“The person who owns it is the person who picks it out,” she said.


SAFE Haven has trained adoption counselors who guide prospective adopters through the process. It’s a “friendly process,” Miller said, but thorough.


“It’s a marvelous experience for families and an opportunity for teaching children,” Miller said. “What is an animal shelter? Why are they here? What is spay and neuter? How do you take care of an animal? What are our responsibilities?”


Besides, Miller points out, adopters sometimes have more time to spend with new pets during the holidays.

“Maybe you have time off,” she said. “That’s a great time to be at home with your kitty and get it comfortable and into a routine.”


As for the reduced adoption fees, Miller says they’ve seen no correlation between the price someone pays for a pet and the longevity of keeping the pet.


“Our experience does not reflect that at all. We have a good screening process and a good track record,” Miller said. “And there are so many more cats are losing their lives in shelters than dogs. Eighty percent of dogs get out of shelters alive, but only about 40 percent of cats do.


“We can’t adopt them out fast enough to save them all.”

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