There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a pet owner. You are responsible for making sure your pet has a home, stays fed and doesn’t run amok in a neighborhood, just to name a few.

In the busiest of times, even the most dedicated pet owners can lose track of their pets. No time is more busy than the trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Between family, guests and trick-or-treaters, the door is opening and closing pretty often. That gives a family pet plenty of chances to slip out without being seen.

Glynn County Animal Control Manager Tiffani Hill is familiar with the problem. The county’s shelter usually operates at capacity — 90 dogs and 40 cats. It’s currently at capacity even though there were a record amount of adoptions, transfers and owner reunions in October.

That’s why Hill is asking county residents to help the shelter by keeping track of their pets during the holidays so the shelter can avoid being part of the ‘holiday dump’ that usually affects shelters.

To go along with an increase in the number of strays during the holidays, there are also some who voluntarily surrender their animals during the holidays.

“They have guests coming and don’t want to deal with it, and they don’t want to take it to a trainer or lock it up. Maybe they’re going out of town and don’t have the money to board it,” Hill said.

We encourage any owner that has a dog to not voluntarily give it up at the shelter just because of the holidays. If, for whatever reason, you can’t have a pet in your house for the holidays, please try to arrange an alternative living situation for your pet. Maybe a friend or a relative wouldn’t mind keeping the animal short-term if you can’t afford to board it over the holidays.

For households that have pets and want to help keep track of them this holiday, free identification chips are available for Glynn County residents from animal control from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Glynn Place Mall and Dec. 8 at the Holiday Market at Mary Ross Waterfront Park.

A chip will help animal control identify the homes of any strays they come across this holiday season.

For the families that are looking to add a pet this holiday season, we encourage you to swing by the county shelter or the Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia to see if there is an adoptable pet that will make a great addition to your family.

Not only will you get a new friend, but you can help ease the burden on both shelters.

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