For dogs and cats in most animals shelters, Thanksgiving is just another day spent waiting for a home they can be thankful for. At some shelters, though, the holiday is marked with a special meal: turkey and all the trimmings, prepared in a way that won’t harm their health.
The Providence Animal Center in Media, Pennsylvania, served dogs bowls of food with human-grade ingredients.
“We are closed for the holiday, and we know that some of these babies are not going to find homes before the holiday, so this is a special way of showing them our love and appreciation for them before they find their forever families,” Justina Calgiano, spokeswoman for the center, told KYW-TV.
In Louisville, Kentucky, more than 200 dogs and cats at Louisville Metro Animal Services were fed holiday meals from Rudy Green’s Doggy Cuisine, WHAS reported.
The meal was made up of “ground turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, green beans, celery, bread cubes, stuffing and cranberries,” Karla Haas, president of Rudy Green’s, told WHAS.
While the special meal is a treat for the animals, it’s also a boost for the shelter staff.
“It means so much more to the staff to have something special for the animals, too.” Haas said. “They live this day in and day out, and just to give them something a little different and make them feel like the holidays even here in the shelter.”
Cats and dogs at the Buffalo Animal Shelter in upstate New York were treated to a three-course organic meal prepared by local chef Malik Von Saint, WGRZ reported.
Von Saint has served holiday meals to the animals for the last three years. The dogs got turkey and quinoa, and the cats got salmon nestled in a boiled egg on a bed of shredded pumpkin.
Other shelters encourage families to provide a foster home for a dog or a cat over the holiday.
In Portsmouth, Virginia, every adoptable dog at the Portsmouth Humane Society is expected to spend the holiday weekend with a family, WAVY reported.
And the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas is sending dogs to spend time with families, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said. The foundation will waive adoption fees for any family that decides to keep a dog permanently.
As Thanksgiving celebrations go, though, the most elaborate production may be Rocky Kanaka’s.
Kanaka, the actor and animal advocate, prepared a special dinner for dogs at Marley’s Mutts dog rescue in Tehachapi, California. He even had the dogs seated around a dining table as they wolfed down the food.
Check out the video below.