Five years ago, I was at the Ogden City Farmers Market, and there was a booth with the Humane Society of Northern Utah. I casually walked by to see all the cute animals because I have a soft spot for them.

I ended up falling in love with a kitten whose mom abandoned him after he was born. He was picked up by the Humane Society and nursed him until he could be adopted.

I named him Leo. He is an orange tabby cat. He has beautiful white stripes on his tail, and his personality is that of a lion, confident and king-like. He has made such a difference in my life. Rescue pets and animal shelter pets need so much love. They are ready to find a forever home.

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Photo credit: Weber County Animal Shelter

When we got him, he was skinny due to severe malnourishment and dehydration. After weeks of medicine and rehydration treatments, he was finally able to be his happy self.

But there’s a shelter closer to home than the occasional humane society booth where we see cute animals on display. The Weber County Animal Shelter is located in our own backyard, yet the shelter and its animals are often neglected.

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Photo credit: Weber County Animal Shelter

I visited the shelter and felt bad when seeing these animals sad and lonely in their kennels, but I also felt I had a way to help. The shelter is solely run by donations. They need our help more than ever. I have been raising money to buy new toys, food and treats for the animals.

A lot of people are adopting animals online or through a breeder. But there are so many animals in shelters that were dropped off there because their owners didn’t want them or couldn’t take care of them. Cats, dogs, bunnies, all in cages waiting to be taken home and loved.

There are 200 cats and 100 dogs waiting to be adopted, as well as four bunnies. Online, there is a page with all the different animals that is updated every 60 minutes. Each animal has a small biography and a photo of them.

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Photo credit: Weber County Animal Shelter

These animals are lonely and scared because they lost their family. They deserve the love that we have to offer. If you are looking for a pet for Christmas or another holiday, check local animal shelters. They are all friendly and need a good home.

When you go to the Shelter you can play with and pet almost all of the animals. When you walk through the halls of cages you hear the dogs barking and tails wagging. In the other room, there is frantic meowing and rubbing against the walls. Instead of buying puppies and kittens online, go to the animal shelter first and look at all of those precious animals waiting to find their next family.

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Photo credit: Weber County Animal Shelter

Even if you can’t adopt, the shelter is always looking for donations and volunteers. Some items that they need for cats and dogs are; durable toys, treats, bones, kitty litter, stainless steel bowls and cat/dog food. There are applications online to help take care of their cages, feed them, play with them and make sure that all of their needs are met.

Find time this season to go show them that they are loved and not alone in this world. Tell your family and friends to look into adopting these sweet angels. They deserve to be loved too.

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