This Holiday Season: Pet Safety and Humane Heroes at DCAS

A message from our Veterinarian AdministratorHoliday Pet Safety banner with cat and dog under Christmas Tree

The sudden recent drop in outside temperature reminds us winter and the holiday season will soon arrive. Here are some reminders on how to keep you and those around you safe.  

If you have visitors, please make sure your pet cannot escape your home. Just last night my front door blew open during high winds when I was outside with my dog. I was relieved when I discovered my 2 cats were still in the house. Luckily, they are both microchipped, but I would have felt terrible if they were lost outside in the cold. I also realized I need to make sure my contact information is current with the microchip company, since I adopted them prior to my arrival at DCAS. If your pet is not microchipped, please consider giving them (and yourself) the gift of microchipping and check to make sure your registration is correct with the microchip company. We offer low-cost microchipping, give us a call to get more information!

Another concern, if you have visitors, is the increased commotion can be stressful for pets. Consider putting them in a quieter room with their favorite toy. Some dogs may show resource guarding (ASPCA Food Guarding Resources) where they could injure a guest if what your dog considers a valuable treat is dropped near them. Some cats and dogs are also less tolerant of some people, including children, so having them rest in a separate area can potentially prevent a bite or scratch.  

Lastly make sure all ribbon, tinsel, and trash are kept away from dogs and cats. Anything like string can do great harm to a dog or cat’s intestine if swallowed and can result in the need for an expensive emergency surgery. Other items that could pose a threat to your furry family would be ingesting chocolate, yeast dough, antifreeze, liquid or solid potpourris, or knocking over a lit candle. Your veterinarian can also be an excellent resource in keeping your pet safe and healthy. Hopefully it’s not needed but it’s a good idea to post the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: (888) 426-4435 in an easy to find place like on your refrigerator.  

From our DuPage County family to you and yours, we wish you a safe and enjoyable season. 

Dr. Hanek Signature

Dr. Barbara Hanek,

Veterinarian Administrator

DCAS Partners with DuPage County Family Center

Victoria Kappa and Laura Winnie holding presents made by children at the Family Center for shelter animals.

This fall, the education team at DuPage County Animal Services reached out to the DuPage County Family Center looking for partnership opportunities. Victoria Kappas, Administrator of the Family Center and her staff enthusiastically agreed, hoping to give their families additional opportunities to learn and grow.

Laura Winnie (left) and Victoria Kappas (right) show off December's partnership craft. 

The family center offers many services to our local community including providing a safe place for children to interact with non-resident parents and meet for neutral visitation exchanges.

Every month, DCAS is creating activities and crafts for the children and parents to do while they are at the center. With the support of DuPage Animal Friends (DAF), DCAS is able to offer more educational opportunities for members of our community. For December, the children will have the opportunity to make holiday presents for the shelter animals. This simple craft using species specific treats and empty toilet paper tubes will lighten up a stressful time for the animals and teach the families new ways to provide enrichment for their own pets at home. A win-win for sure!

Click DuPage Animal Friends' logo if you would like to help support educational efforts like these, plus so much MORE.

DAF helps DCAS do MORE every day. Animals arriving at the shelter seem to need MORE time, MORE training, MORE medical interventions, and MORE services. Their mission is to save, love, educate, and inspire and your support matters. Please considering doing MORE to help us save MORE lives and give these animals MORE hope.

DuPage Animal Friends Logo

Need to Get in the Holiday Spirit?

Adoptable cat Peppermint sitting on pink towel by a window.

Just Add Peppermint!

This confident 8 year old girl knows her likes and dislikes:

✅ Exclusive family circle

❌ Overt displays of affection

✅ Window Seats

❌ Other pets in the home

✅ Ear scratches

❌ Disrespectful people


Peppermint is the kind of cat that would make a regal queen look like a country bumpkin. She prefers to reign benevolently over a small household, no other pets, thank you very much. With well-behaved humans who respect her independence, she bestows her favors like lap cuddles and purrs. But just like all well-flavored peppermint holiday, this girl has a little kick if you try to force attentions on her. Are you looking for that extra bit of flavor this holiday season? Click her picture to fill out an app today! 

Spreading Cheer Throughout the Year

Girl Scout Troop 55671 meeting with adoptable dog Jorga

Most of the time, people picture animal shelter volunteers in very specific roles: walking dogs or scooping kitty litter. We wouldn’t be able to save as many lives as we do at DCAS without the help of those loyal, hardworking men and women. But not as visible, and just as important, are all the “unofficial” volunteers working outside the shelter to help homeless animals. These “Humane Heroes” are working out in the community helping us:

  • Reunite pets with their family
  • Communicate the importance of DCAS’ work
  • Provide needed supplies to care for the animals
  • Create interactive toys for shelter animals to alleviate stress

We love when groups reach out to ask what our shelter needs. With limited storage space, we try to use items as soon as we can for the animals in our care. When we have 200 cats and 4 dogs, it’s hard for us to find room for donated dog supplies. If you’re thinking of becoming a “Humane Hero” this holiday season to provide additional support for your local open-admission animal shelter, contact our education team for ways to help! or 630-407-2808.

Local Girl Scout Troop 55671 raised over $250 to help homeless pets. Click their picture to see our most needed items!

Upcoming Webinars

Cat at computer

Join us at 7pm select Thursday nights all year long! Follow the links provided to register. 

Basic Pet First Aid - December 15, 2022 7pm-8pm

Learn how to tend to your pet in a crisis. This presentation will cover preventative care, how to treat wounds, broken bones, choking, and more.

Registration Link:


Boredom Busters for our Canine Buds – January 5, 2023 7pm-8pm

Truth: Being bored sucks. Over the years, we’ve bred dogs to do certain jobs and even today they need the challenge of a job well done to have a fully satisfying life. Explore the options to give your dog an outlet for their natural instincts.

Registration Link:


DIY Enrichment – January 19, 2023 7pm-8pm

Bring snacks (for you and your pet) and bring your craft supplies! Create some easy enrichment items for your furry friends!

Registration Link: