Adopt a Pet this Holiday Season: Tips from S.A.R.A Society & IAMS

Donna Petryna is the founder and operator of S.A.R.A Society located in Surrey, B.C. Donna started opening her heart and home to deserted cats in the 1980’s after working with other animal rescue groups.  The serious overpopulation of cats in Surrey and her experience in handling abused, neglected, displaced or feral animals, spurred her to open her own shelter and Save Animals Through Rescue and Adoption, or S.A.R.A., was born.

If you’re thinking about getting a pet, adopting from a shelter is a fantastic way to give a loving home to a pet in need. Surrey based animal shelter, the S.A.R.A (Save Animals through Rescue and Adoption) Society, helps their pets find forever homes.

S.A.R.A’s mission is to provide homeless, abandoned and surrendered animals with a second chance by helping them find suitable and loving homes.

Before adopting a pet, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Time: Do you have the time required to own a pet? Being available to interact, train and care for your pet is very important.
  • Home: Having a safe pet-friendly home with plenty of room is vital for their well-being.
  • Finances: Being able to pay for medical care, insurance, food and other general expenses.
  • Family: Certain pets are more suitable to families with children. Make sure you check with the shelter in regards to which pets may not child-friendly due to their history.
  • Veterinarian: Having a local vet is like having a family doctor for your pet’s medical concerns.

It is imperative to involve all members of the household in the process of an adoption. If you have current animals, consider bringing them along for a meet-and-greet to see how compatible they are. This could save you a lot of time and help speed up the process of finding a suitable new pet.

Be sure to purchase all basic, necessary supplies before you pick up your new companion; collars, food, litter boxes, toys, food bowls etc.

It’s important to know that most shelters have an adoption screening process that includes paperwork including personal references. You should also expect to pay a fee that usually covers vaccinations, micro-chipping, spay/neuter surgery and helps support the shelter’s costs.

There will be a period of adjustment for not only you, but also your new pet. Expect cautious and nervous behaviours as your pet has gone through a lot of changes and needs time to adjust to their new home.

If you’re not ready or able to adopt a pet, you can support local shelters through the Iams Home 4 the Holidays program in many other ways. Canadians can participate by:

  • Becoming a Volunteer or a Foster Parent – Shelters need volunteers to do everything from feeding, caring for and keeping rescue animals company, to assisting at events and fundraisers. Fostering helps the shelters free up space and offer resources for animals in dire need of care and attention. Contact your local shelter for more information on becoming a volunteer or a foster parent.


The S.A.R.A Society is an animal shelter located in Surrey, B.C and is a non-profit organization run completely by dedicated volunteers. SARA’s strict no-kill policy provides a refuge for unwanted pets while saving as many as possible from unnecessary euthanasia. Over the years, the shelter has grown to house over 200 cats, a small assortment of birds and several dogs.

Connect with us on Facebook 

[awesome-gallery id=12972]


Leave a Reply