San Diego's holiday homes for pets

If you're investigating homes for sale in San Diego, you might want to have a few furry friends joining you on your quest. According to a recent special article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Helen Woodward Animal Center is helping animals find homes this holiday season by hosting its 14th annual "Iams Home 4 the Holidays" adoption drive.

"More than 7 million dogs and cats have been adopted since the program's inception in 1999," said Ed Farrelly, Helen Woodward Center's animal services manager, to the source. "This holiday season, nearly 290,000 pets have already found their forever home."

The source indicated that the program will run through January 3, and has grown from a small network of San Diego shelters to more than 4,000 shelters in 20 countries. As the holidays are a particularly popular time to bring a new dog or cat home to the family, this is a perfect time to think about offering up some prime real estate to a four-legged friend.

The goal of this year's program is to place 2 million animals in homes around the world. For families or individuals who aren't 100 percent about adopting a pet, there are other options that could help you make a decision. The Union-Tribune detailed that Petfinder.com's "Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays" offers a trial run, which can help to make sure that the right pets are placed in the right families.

Cookie arrives in San Diego
Another recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune detailed the stories of many animals whose lives were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy. One heartfelt story involves a five-year-old beagle mix who was rescued from an East Coast shelter that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Cookie is his name, and he was one of the 50 storm-affected animals that were flown out of Newark, N.J. and into San Diego on November 17.

Cookie found a new, happy home with Sacramento couple Clem and Pamela Westerman. They happened to catch sight of the footage of the animals getting off the plane, and they jetted out to San Diego two days later to pick up their new companion.

With concentrated efforts to improve the world around them, nonprofit organizations like the Helen Woodward Animal Center are just another way that San Diego is helping not only humans get off the street, but four-legged friends as well.