There are hundreds of dogs and cats in East Texas shelters right now, waiting to be moved in to a cozy home like yours.  It's a great time to adopt.  A dog is one Christmas gift that the kids won't get tired of a week after receiving it, and it doesn't need batteries or assembly.  So let's go get 'em.  

The SPCA is one of several great places to adopt a shelter pet in East Texas. They've got dozens of dogs and cats, and they range in age from puppies to older adult dogs.  And they've got all the details listed on their website about how far along the dogs are with house-training, whether they're good with kids, if they get along well with other dogs, and lots more. After you fill out an application, they'll most likely do a home visit to make sure the dogs is in good hands, and  then he or she is all yours.

Pets Fur People is another option in Tyler, and the dogs there range in age from 6 or 7 months, to 11 years or more.  The cats might be a little younger overall, and they've got a few that are under one year old now.  They're a non-profit group that relies on donations, and I'm sure they would appreciate those this time of year too, especially if adoption is not on your radar.  They're at 1823 County Road 386 in Tyler, and open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm with a break for lunch from 1 to 2 pm.

Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center has oodles of adoptable pets too, including some super cute Shepherds and Shepherd mixes, plus labs, and terriers too, ranging in age from puppies to older adults.   They're closed Sunday and Monday, and open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 5pm.

I adopted a Mini Pinscher-Chihuahua mix two years ago, and she has turned out to be the best lap dog ever.  She's a cuddle bug that loves to play, and she's proof that sometimes these pups just need a new home and a fresh start to really thrive.

So if the kids are asking for a new pet for Christmas, adoption is a great option!  You can avoid the crowds at the mall, and make some animals very happy.