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Jacksonville Humane Society has 6 resources for stressed-out pet owners to keep animals in their homes

Many people buy new pets for the holidays and don't realize what's involved. Some of those animals wind up at shelters.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Many animal shelters see pets bought as holiday gifts surrendered this time of year with overwhelmed owners at the end of their rope. However, the Jacksonville Humane Society says they're not seeing an increase in animals turned in and believes it's because of six resources they offer.

Let's say you got a cat or dog for the holidays. You got the toys, you bought the treats, but you didn't realize what's involved in caring for a new pet.

Those at the Jacksonville Humane Society say they can help. 

“If you adopted a dog, and it’s chewing everything up, and you’re nervous and scared and you don’t know what to do, or you’re thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m really overwhelmed. Am I ready for this?’ please reach out to us," said Lindsay Layendecker, Assistant Director of Development at the Jacksonville Humane Society.

The JAX Humane Society has the tools to help pet owners deal with issues starting with behavioral experts who work at the shelter. 

“One of the great tools that we have is our free behavioral hotline," Layendecker said. "We also have a really extensive behavioral library on our website, so you don’t have to sit there and Google or find the solution and be like, ‘Is this a reliable source? I don’t know.’”

The fourth resource is a pet food bank at the shelter for dogs and cats. 

“We have a low-cost veterinary clinic here on site, and if the Jacksonville Humane Society isn’t close to you, and you’re looking for something on your side of town, we’ll help point you in the right direction," Layendecker said. 

The goal is to keep tails wagging and pets at the homes, not at the shelter. 

“Anything we can do to keep pets and people together, to keep them from being separated, to support families, we want to do that," Layendecker said. 

The shelter offers virtual and in-person obedience training classes for your pets. The proceeds from those classes go back to help homeless animals at the shelter.