Many people imagine a fluffy kitten or rambunctious puppy with a bow under their Christmas tree. The Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Franklin County can help make the dream reality. The shelter suggests pairing up pet lovers and furry friends with a homemade gift certificate—redeemable for an adopted pet.

Jennifer Vanderau, communications director at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, said that the pets themselves are not gifts as all family members must meet the animal before the adoption papers can go through, but recommends making a certificate to go under the tree and when the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, the whole family can go out and find a new friend.

“When you pick an animal, you should get one that you bond with after playing with them,” she said. “Giving a certificate is better because it allows the family member you are gifting it to pick their new best friend.”

Vanderau said that it gives the whole family time to make a decision on a new pet and they can meet the new member of the household while adoption paperwork and appropriate checks goes through, which takes several days. For more information and to visit the animals of the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, visit or call 717-263-5791.

Meeting the next furry friend for the family is also a focus at Fido’s First Friday in downtown Chambersburg, held by the Downtown Business Council in September. The event, which is pet-friendly, showcases all the services for pets in the area, including boarding, pet supplies and treats with a focus on canines. Adoptable dogs and dogs for sale by pet stores in the local area will be ready to meet their potential owners!

Furry friends can come along to many festivals throughout the year, which are pet-friendly! This includes AppleFest, IceFest and Old Market Day in Chambersburg, Springfest and Townfest in Mercersburg Springfest, The Corn Festival and Solstice Arts Festival in Shippensburg and Market Day in Waynesboro among many others.

For gift ideas this Christmas season, check out the Franklin County Visitors Bureau’s 12 Days of Christmas Gifts here.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore Franklin County PA and enjoy the trails of history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods, and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. Franklin County PA is located just north of the Mason Dixon Line and is an easy drive to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Discover more…plan a visit soon at or by contacting 866.646.8060.