I encourage everyone that is able to volunteer time, donate items/funds, consider fostering, or adopt a pet from one of our wonderful local animal rescue groups this holiday season. There are a wide variety of pure and mix-breed loving animals looking for a home. Pet items that are slightly used can find new life in the hands of several local animal rescue organizations. Some facilities can benefit from donations of food. Many facilities are looking for people to walk dogs, socialize pets, groom them, clean equipment, etc.

The Animal Protection League takes animals directly out of our local animal shelter in Stockton, spays and neuters them, and finds them homes. If not for this group’s tireless efforts, these dogs and cats would be euthanized. I personally volunteer with this organization doing spay/neuter surgeries on the weekend. They take animals to various locations for adoptions, and also have a facility located at 7602 Murray Drive, Suite 106 Stockton CA. Check out their website www.apl209.org or follow them on Facebook. (209) 956-DOGS

Animal Friends Connection is based in Lodi, but they also provide rescue services for several animals in need in Stockton. Many of their volunteers foster animals at home. And they are always in search of more foster homes. They also offer classes and canine good citizen certification. www.animalfriendsconnect.org. (209) 365-0535. Their facility is located at 933 S. Cherokee Lane, Lodi CA.

Delta Humane Society is one of the few no kill facilities in our area, and it was started in 1966. They house animals in need until a home is found for them. Several hundred animals are placed each year. www.deltahumanesociety.com (209) 466-0339. Their facility is located at 4590 South 99 Frontage Road, Stockton CA.

There are also several local breed specific rescue organizations. Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue www.cc-labrescue.org Northern California Weimaraner Rescue www.norcalweimrescue.org. Typically you can search on line to find a rescue group somewhere in California for almost any dog breed and some cat breeds.

If you decide that larger animals are more your interest, there are also several local rescue organizations. KISS Horse Center www.kisshorses.com rescues horses from feedlot and other desperate situations. They are located at 10576 Arno Rd, Galt CA (916) 591-2481. The Performing Animals Welfare Society provides sanctuary for all types of large or exotic animals. They have a location in Galt and a large facility in San Andres. www.pawsweb.org (209) 746-2606. Our local Micke Grove Zoo does a lot to educate about animals, and help with conservation. www.mgzoo.com

I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season.