FORT MILL, S.C. -- If the dogs and cats at the Humane Society of York County could talk, they would tell you all they want for Christmas is a home.
Sadly, that did not happen this year for the animals currently housed in the kennels. But some of these four-legged friends will get the next best thing: a home for the holidays.
Several pets will spend a few days of Christmas break in the homes of shelter volunteers, enjoying all of the perks of a normal household. Stash, Poppy, Jackie and Paxton were some of the lucky ones.
Poppy, a three-legged terrier mix, whose leg had to be amputated after she was shot, was rescued by the shelter earlier this year. The dog thought she was leaving the kennel for good after she was recently adopted. But, unfortunately, Poppy was returned the week before Christmas.
Kim Brown, who's been a shelter volunteer for many years, stepped up to give Poppy a reprieve, if only for a few days.
"It breaks your heart to know a pet is suffering or stressed, and the holidays offer a chance for us to give them some time in a home," said Brown.
Introducing a new dog or cat into a home, even temporarily, is no easy feat. The move can disrupt the routine and make the other animals in the house feel uneasy. But the love these volunteers have for animals is bigger than any reservations they may have about opening their hearts and their homes.
"She's (Poppy) still confused about not being in her own home and may even feel at a physical disadvantage with only having three legs. We've introduced her to our dogs separately and are giving them small amounts of supervised one-on-one playtime," said Brown.
Poppy and her friends are glad to get to spend some time away from the shelter, but they're still looking for their forever homes. For more information on the adoption process or how to become a volunteer at the Humane Society of York County, click here.
"My son and I started volunteering in 2014. HSYC is one of the few places where kids under 16 can find opportunities to volunteer (albeit with a parent), and it was a great fit for us to give back to the community in a way that was meaningful," said Brown.
Note: The shelter is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.