Let your holidays go to the dogs (and the cats) at the Iowa City Animal Center

Holiday with the Hounds

Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m., Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center, 3910 Napoleon Ln

Peta, a 5-year-old pit bull still available for adoption as of Dec. 7, poses in her winter best. — courtesy of the Iowa City Animal Center

The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center will be holding its holiday open house on Saturday, giving people a chance to take a break from the stress of the season and pet a dog or snuggle a kitten. Or both. The center (3910 Napoleon Ln) will open its doors at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning for the four hour-long event.

“Enjoy snacks, sip on some cocoa, and take the opportunity to meet the animals,” the center said in a news release. “This is also a chance to possibly meet your new four-legged best friend “

Holiday with the Hounds has been an annual event for more than 20 years. It was canceled in 2020, due to COVID, and last year it was a drive-through event. But this year, it’s back to up close and personal.

“We want people to come in and enjoy themselves,” Iowa City Animal Control Coordinator Chris Whitmore told Little Village. “They can see the decorations our volunteers made to make the place look really nice for the holidays.”

People will also be able to see the two bunnies, seven dogs and 11 adult cats waiting for adoption at the center. And kittens. Lots of kittens.

“We have close to 25 kittens in the shelter and another 25 to 30 that are still in foster homes,” Whitmore said. “They range from 8 weeks to 6 months, so we have a big variety of kittens.”

“We’re having a cat sale, so to speak, this ninth. All of our cats, kittens and rabbits are $25 for an adoption. We have so many, so we’re hoping to clear out the shelter and make room for ones that will be coming in the spring.”

It’s been an unusually busy year for the center, Whitmore said.

“In August and September, we were completely full,” she recalled.. “We had 170 cats and kittens in August. It was probably our busiest August ever. And our receiving room is still getting full, which is unusual at this time of year.”

In addition to socializing with dogs and cats, Holiday with the Hounds provides an opportunity for people to help support the center. Stocking will be hung on every kennel, ready to receive donations. In addition to monetary support, there are also some necessities the center is hoping people will donate.

“Right now, we’re kind of out of paper towels,” Whitmore said. “They’re always a big need for us. Bleach is something we go through quickly. We use Dawn dish soap to clean some kennels and cages, so we’re alway in need of that. And jars of baby food for kittens.”
Kittens prefer the Gerber’s chicken baby food that comes in jars with blue lids, she explained.

The center’s news release listed the following items as top needs

For dogs

• Fromm Classic Chicken & Rice dry dog food

• Iams Low residue or Hills Science Diet i/d dog food (available at many Veterinarians)

• Blankets and towels

• Slow feeder food bowls

• Nyla bones and other tough chew toys

• Kuranda brand dog beds

• Large deep-water crocs

• Peanut butter and canned spray cheese

For cats

• Cat toys- especially little mice!

• NutriSource Cat & Kitten food-Chicken & Rice recipe

• Royal Canin Mom and Baby food dry and canned

• Plain chicken or turkey baby food

• Hills Science Diet canned i/d food and dry i/d food

• Hiding cat beds (for the shy ones)

• Small washable cat beds or blankets

• Towels- bath size

•Small deep-water crocs (3oz plus)


• Dawn dishwashing liquid

• Dry measuring cups

• Bleach

• Vinegar

• Tweezers, fingernail clippers

• Spiral Notebooks, pens, highlighters

• Small 5 X 7 plastic clip boards

• Clean/new laundry baskets

The center will have a drop box throughout December to make it easier to donate items. And year-round, the center has an Amazon wish list.

Whitmore said she and center staff members are looking forward to Holiday with the Hounds this Saturday.

“We’ve been doing this for so many years and some people come almost every year,” she said. “It’s always so nice to see old friends again.”


Editor’s note: This story has been updated with quotes from Chris Whitmore since it was originally published.

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