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Matthew Sisk: Help pets in need this holiday season
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There’s a scene in “Rebel Without A Cause” in which the line “You read too many comic books” is uttered.

Now, if you read my column regularly, you know I have an affinity for comics. But the scene still rings true. Reading those daring tales where good so often trumps the evils of the world can give you ideas. Sometimes those ideas get you in trouble. But sometimes, they inspire you to change the world.

So I urge you to sink into the season with me and a comic book hero sensibility.

We’re just past Thanksgiving, heading into the heavy holiday season. Regardless of your religion, or lack thereof, this is the time of year where you tend to reflect on things.

So take a moment and reflect on your pets. Hopefully you treat them as well as you can, including medical care and emotional adoration.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars on foods made with virgin olive oil or pet beds stuffed with sustainably sourced hemp. It may mean a new paper towel roll for your dog, and keeping the cats from beating her up every night. (That may just be my dog.)

But, if you can, look beyond your pet. Look outside your warm home. Look at the homeless among us.

Pets in shelters need supplies year-round. But this season is a big time for thoughts of giving, and thus your thoughts may be thrown in that direction. It’s a worthy charity. Call your local shelter and ask what they need. Food, litter, old blankets or towels and newspaper are often in high demand.

Make a donation in your pet’s name. They won’t understand the true gift, but it’s a good way to celebrate how lucky they are to have you, and how lucky you are to have them.

Also, think of homeless humans. Many homeless people have pets that live with them wherever fate allows. Consider donating pet-related goods to homeless shelters that offer related services to their clientele. If you can help, help.

After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

Matthew Sisk is a practicing veterinarian from Habersham County. Have questions about your pet? He can be reached at

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