But for homeless pets, the holiday season is just another part of their grim existence.
That’s why three years ago Red Bandanna, a local chain of natural pet food stores, instituted Angel Trees for these neglected dogs and cats.
“A lot of people always came to us at this time of year wanting to support local rescues,” said Ashley Friery at Red Bandanna’s Roswell store.
The Red Bandanna Angel Tree program, beginning the day after Thanksgiving, is a “wish list” of items local rescue pets need this season. The rescues sponsored by Red Bandanna generally use the Angel Tree donations to get through the first couple of months of the new year, when monetary donations tend to drop off. Rescues wish for everything from food and supplements to treats and toys to leashes and shampoo.
Store employees fashion ornaments with each pet’s name, photo and wish list for their Angel Trees.
Each tree holds up to 30 ornaments, and generally need to be “re-loaded” around once a week, Friery said. “Some customers have even bought entire trees.”
All 13 Red Bandanna stores across Atlanta participate in Angel Tree, and each rescue is represented at every store. Last year, the program brought in around $7,000 worth of products to six local rescues. This year, Red Bandanna is sponsoring five Atlanta-area groups: Boston Terrier Rescue, Good Mews, Mutt Madd-ness, Southeast Pug Rescue & Adoption, Inc. and You Lucky Dog. The goal this season is to collect at least $10,000 worth of products for all the cats and dogs that need a forever home. “Many of the rescue folks send us pictures with the pets receiving their goods, and it makes the holidays so special for us,” said Dylan Yellowlees, social media and graphics manager for Red Bandanna.