Four Paws cats to have warm and fuzzy Christmas

Rexburg

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Bobette Carlson and Olaf the cat. | Photos by Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG — Bobette Carlson had a reason to smile Thursday morning.

Carlson, the executive director of Four Paws Pet Adoptions in Rexburg, heads a team that cares for 27 cats of various sizes and personalities, and these animals have needs, including food, litter and other supplies. Carlson arrived Thursday morning to find two cases of high-end cat food waiting on the front porch.

“I was so elated because yesterday, my goal was to go buy cat food because we were so low on it,” Carlson said. “And here it showed up at our door. Many times, we just put it out there that we have some needs here at the facility — it’s amazing how it seems to come to our front door.”

Four Paws received several other donations the same morning, which Carlson said should help it get through the holiday season.

“We focus on people at Christmas, but we sometimes forget the animals need love at Christmas too,” she said.

Carlson and Four Paws work to match families to the right animals, and the goal is to find a good home for every adoptable animal.

Although the shelter is closing and has stopped taking new animals, it still has plenty of adoptable cats (no dogs) that need a forever home and people to love them.

Things to remember when adopting (or giving) a pet

Carlson noted that many people like to give pets as Christmas presents, and she offered several suggestions to ensure the best possible adoption results.

First, it’s a good idea for the recipient to actually pick out the animal.

“It is so important for the person receiving the cat or the dog to be the one who makes that connection because what connects with me may not necessarily connect with you,” she said.

Carlson also said employees and volunteers at shelters can help people find the right animal for them. Four Paws has plenty of places to sit with the cats, get to know them and bond with them.

Shelter workers often know the personalities of the animals and will match perspective owners with animals that meet their needs.

“If they’re looking for a calm lap cat,” said Carlson, “we’re not going to send them off with a wired kitten.”

It’s also a good idea to give the new pet owners the requisite supplies to care for the animals, like toys for dogs and litter box supplies for cats. Carlson recommends holding off on giving food until you check with shelter workers and find out with the animal has been eating. A change in diet can affect the animal’s health.

If you can’t adopt yourself and still want to help the animals, there are ways to do so.

Donations to local shelters help with the needs and wants of the animals. In some cases, you can also go to the shelters and spend time with the animals. Four Paws allows anyone who wishes to to come in and sit with their cats. It’s a win/win situation as it helps the people who come play with the cats, and it helps socialize the animals and make them more adoptable. Contact your local shelter to find out how you can help. These animals need the best, most special treatment possible.

The cats at Four Paws get special treatment from volunteers every day, but they get something extra special at Christmas. Carlson prepares a special chicken soup dinner, which the cats just clean up.

“Once in a while you might find a pea or two left,” said Carlson. “But that’s about it. Those days, we don’t even have to wash the plates.”

You can find Four Paws on Facebook here.

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