Pet lovers are being encouraged to spare a few dollars to assist animal shelters this Christmas.
Pet lovers are being encouraged to spare a few dollars to assist animal shelters this Christmas. Vicki Wood

Show care for cats and dogs and other critters at Christmas

PETS are family, too - especially at Christmas.

Australia has one of the highest incidences of pet ownership per capita in the world with 36% of households owning a dog and 23% owning a cat.

However, animal shelters across the nation will be filled with all creatures great and small who don't have loving families to care for them through the Yuletide season.

So, the staff at Petbarn Coffs Harbour are on a mission to raise funds for animal shelters through the annual Giving Tree appeal.

Customers may purchase a $3, $5 or $10 Christmas decoration, which comes in two parts - one to hang on the local giving tree and one to take home for their very own family Christmas tree.

All funds raised through the appeal will be donated to local partner animal shelters including the RSPCA.

Assistant store manager at Coffs Harbour, Adam Rose, said last year's appeal raised over $300,000 Australia-wide and for Christmas 2014 the Petbarn Foundation is aiming to exceed this amount.

"We know Christmas is an exciting time for many Coffs Coast families, with many pet parents looking to spoil their own pet with a small gift," Adam said.

"Buying a decoration is an easy way to help support other animals in need of home this Christmas.

"During the holiday gift giving period, we see an increase in pets being housed at shelters.

"So we are encouraging residents to think twice and do their research before buying or adopting a pet, and to also help us raise as much funding as we can to help support our local shelters looking after pets in need of a home."

Fundraising continues until December 24 with the funds presented to nominated charities in the New Year.



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