ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA is looking to get pets into homes, and keep them there, this holiday season.

There are lots of cats and dogs at the shelter looking for their forever homes.

The longer an animal stays in the kennel, the sadder and more scared they can become.

The SPCA encourages fostering to get the animal some quality family time out of the shelter. Officials say if you do want to adopt or gift a dog over the holidays, you need to have a plan.

"You shouldn't be giving pets to anyone who aren't prepared to be having an animal in their lives. An animal is a significant commitment so you need to make sure they have the money, they have the supplies, food, everything like that. And, the space. Make sure your housing allows animals," Sierra Stevens with the CASPCA said.

To encourage retention in the community, the CASPCA has a special pantry for community members in need to get food for their animals. It's looking to refill it ahead of Christmas with wet and dry dog food. You can drop off food at the shelter or go on its online wish lists.