Bug, the ‘mascot'

Bug, the ‘mascot’ of the Elk Grove Animal Shelter, wants you to give a merry Christmas to the shelter’s dogs and cats.

Stray dogs and cats need some holiday cheer during the long days and nights while they await adoption at the city’s Elk Grove Animal Shelter. There are currently more than a dozen cats and nearly 10 dogs at the facility that opened this fall at Union Park Way.

Community members are invited to be a Mr. or Mrs. Claus this holiday season by donating toys and treats for Elk Grove’s four-legged friends. A “Santa Box” will be available at the shelter for anyone to drop off gifts.

“(The gifts) will definitely brighten up their Christmas,” said June LaVine of Friends of the Elk Grove Animal Shelter, which is a nonprofit that supports the facility. “It will keep them happy, busy, active, and more sociable because the happier they are, the more sociable they’ll be – that makes a difference.”

She said that the animal shelter staff prefers toys and treats this Christmas. Treats that are chewy and can help clean teeth are ideal, and treats that volunteers can use to train animals are requested, LaVine said.

As for cat toys, she recommends interactive toys that can be used to help visitors get to know a cat’s personality before considering them for adoption. She said that it’s best to avoid catnip toys since each cat has a different reaction to the herb.

“Some absolutely go bonkers and some don’t even care,” LeVine said.

Also on the “do not give” list are blankets and towels since the shelter has an abundance of them, she said.

Those who cannot visit the shelter can instead purchase gifts from Amazon by visiting the website and viewing the shelter’s “wish list” that was written by Friends of the Elk Grove Animal Shelter. Requested gifts include training leashes, litter boxes, and chew toys.

There are plans to have a Christmas party at the animal shelter on Saturday, Dec. 14. Visitors can enjoy cider and cookies while viewing adoptable pets. This event will be held from 2-5 p.m.

The Elk Grove Animal Shelter is at 9150 Union Park Way and they are open from 12-6 p.m. every day, except Mondays.

For more information on Friends of the Elk Grove Animal Shelter, visit www.Fegas.org.