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How You Can Make Thanksgiving Special for Fresno Pets in Shelters



Fresno's animal shelter is hosting a drive-thru event asking families to host a pet for the Thanksgiving weekend. (Shutterstock)
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The time for giving is here, and Fresno Humane Animal Services hopes that residents will help animals in need of shelter, food, and warmth.

For the month of November, the no-kill shelter is offering a deal on adoption fees and hosting a holiday foster event.

The shelter is also seeking help with holiday meals for the pets there and warm blankets and towels for the city of Fresno and county shelters.

Sally Breyer, the senior operations manager for the City of Fresno Animal Center. says that since the city facility opened, they are struggling to let everybody know who they are and what they do.

“So we’re really hoping to get the word out on this brand new beautiful facility for the city of Fresno and really invite folks to come down and look for your lost pet, and if you’re not missing a pet and you’d like to add to your family, we have a lot of really amazing pets here that are looking for forever homes,” said Breyer.

The city shelter is at 5277 E. Airways Blvd near the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The county shelter is at 1510 W. Dan Ronquillo Drive, which is west of Highway 99 and near Highway 180 in Fresno.

Help Foster a Pet for the Thanksgiving Weekend

Operation Wishbone Drive Thru will be held at the city shelter on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and Wednesday, Nov. 23. The event asks residents to “foster” a pet for the Thanksgiving weekend.

“We’re really hoping that folks will come to the shelter to foster a dog or cat for just a few days so that they can experience the holiday in a nice warm home, and get them out of the shelter for just a little bit,” said Breyer.

The process is simple, says Breyer. The foster families will be given everything they need to take care of the pet for the weekend.

The city of Fresno animal shelter at 5277 E. Airways Blvd.,  is hosting an event in which residents adopt a pet for  Thanksgiving weekend.  Operation Wishbone Drive Thru will take place Tuesday, Nov. 22,  and Wednesday, Nov. 23. (GV Wire File)

Fostering a Pet Can Help Increase Adoptions

Breyer says temporary fostering allows the shelter to get additional information on how pets behave in a home and find out what types of accommodations or services they need.

“Being surrounded by folks really helps the animals de-stress, and it helps them behave better when they come back to the shelter,” said Breyer.

Families will be asked to fill out a report card on how the pets interacted with any children in the home or with other dogs.

This feedback allows the shelter to give information to potential adopters on why a particular pet might be a good fit for them based on their behavior and characteristics.

“So it’s really beneficial and we’re always hopeful that some of those fosters will turn into adoptions,” said Breyer. “But even if they don’t, it does provide us with a good amount of knowledge that helps us better place these animals.”

Adoption Deals During November

In addition, the shelter will host a special adoption for adult dogs.

Dogs six months and older can be adopted throughout the month of November for a $25 fee, while black adult dogs can be adopted for free. Normally, a regular adoption is $125.

Dogs adopted through the shelter will be fully vaccinated with the parvo, rabies, and bordetella vaccines, including being spayed, neutered, and microchipped.

Low On Pet Goods for Thanksgiving

The shelter also recently announced that it was running low on laundry goods to help keep shelter pets warm.

Now that temperatures have dropped, the shelter is asking residents to help keep pets warm this winter by donating old blankets, towels, or linens.

Drops off for any of these items is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the city and county shelters.

The shelter is also seeking donations of pet-friendly holiday meals like canned green beans, canned chicken, and canned pumpkin.

“We like to do a little holiday meal for the pets that don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving,” said Breyer. “And those items give us the ability to make sure that everybody here gets a nice little treat and a little holiday meal that the staff provides.”

Liz Juarez joined GV Wire in July, 2021 as a Digital News Producer. She has experience working for publications around the Central Valley including the Clovis Roundup, Porterville Recorder and Hanford Sentinel. While in college, she interned for Mountain West Athletics and served as Outreach Chair for the Fresno State Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Liz earned a bachelor's degree in Media Communications and Journalism at Fresno State and a master's degree in Communications from Arizona State University. In her down time, she enjoys reading, drawing and staying active by playing basketball, taking trips to the coast and visiting national parks. You can contact Liz at

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