RP Animal Shelter setting up annual Holiday Tree event
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By Jud Snyder
The hurly-burly of Christmas holiday shopping gets pretty serious in early December. Rohnert Park and Cotati families, “significant others” sharing homes and individuals are all taking part in this annual ritual. As a timely reminder, they should not forget cats and dogs sharing their home. In this category are dogs and cats who are homeless and in the care of Sonoma County animal shelters, or cats living a perilous feral lifestyle.

Headquarters locally is the RP Animal Shelter on J. Rogers Lane just off Redwood Drive, west of the freeway. It’s the location of their annual Holiday Tree set up in the lobby. It’s mostly a bare-branched tree now but all next month it will become laden with ornaments from pet owners all over the county.

Coordinating this project is Friends of Animals in the Redwood Empire, better known as FAIRE.

Here’s how it works: Start with a photo of your pet dog or cat, or even your rabbit, horse, guinea pig, mouse, parrot, canaries, or even a pet snake (they’ve had a few), and decorate it with a bit of holly, beads, ribbon, add a brief greeting message and a bit of string or wire to hang it with and bring it to the shelter, or mail it. For this honor for everyone to see, a voluntary donation to FAIRE will be appreciated.

That’s not all they’re doing at the shelter. Mickey Zeldes, shelter supervisor, said “We’re offering a free microchip during the month of December. It’s about the size of a rice kernel, is painless to inject and can be read by scanners in virtually all animal shelters.”

It’s the best way to reunite lost dogs or wandering cats with their owners. Donations to offset the costs are gratefully appreciated. It’s sponsored by the Animal Shelter League of Rohnert Park and is limited to RP and Cotati pets.

FAIRE has elected new officers with Holly Blue named as president; Al Haggerty, first vice-president; Denise Hill, second vice-president; Denise Boardman, secretary and Paul Hock, treasurer.

Blue’s not new to the job. She served six years as FAIRE president back in the mid 1990’s.

For details on the Holiday Tree and all the low cost spay and neuter programs, call the RP shelter at 584-1582. For details on the low cost spay and neuter program, call 579-SPAY.

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