Shelters recommend other options to giving pets as presents
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The holidays are just around the corner and people are working on finding the perfect gifts for their loved ones.
Every year, shelters across the country take in a large number of pets at the beginning of the year because many people who get puppies or kittens for Christmas decide they can’t take care of them once they get big.
″You want to think about if it fits with your lifestyle, if the animal fits with whatever you have going on in your life at any given time. You may not be ready for a puppy if you work 12 hours a day. Whether you can give the time, love, energy you need to with this pet as well as financial constrictions,” said Kayleigh Murdock, Pima Animal Care Center’s public information officer.
There are other options if you’re considering a pet for a family member or for yourself this holiday season.
This includes letting the person pick out the animal instead of just gifting them one, giving them an adoption coupon and fostering an animal before making the final decision. Each year, people give puppies and other animals as gifts, but it’s not something everyone is ready for.
According to PETA, cats and dogs require a 10- to 20-year financial commitment.
″When we think about puppies, kittens, any other young animal, those are the ones that tend to be really high energy, really rambunctious,” Murdock said. “That’s awesome if you’re ready for it, but not everyone is. It can be a big job to raise a puppy or a kitten, as anyone who has done it knows, so we want to give people the option as to whether or not they’re ready for that.”
Despite warnings about buying puppies and kittens for holiday gifts, she said that many animals actually do stay in the home, but they still see some animals brought in once they get older.
″We do see a fair amount of animals come in around the 1- to 2-year-old mark,” she said. “That’s when they tend to be really high energy and maybe need some training. So that is a concern.”
PACC has about 500 dogs in the shelter. Usually, around this time, they have fewer animals in the shelter, but not as many fosters or adopters are coming in.
This year, PACC is doing a special promotion called Home Until the Holidays. People can foster most of the pets here at PACC. It can help you get to know the animal and know if you’re ready for a pet.
“It’s kind of a short-term fostering push in terms of suggesting to people, ‘Hey, you may not be able to take this animal forever, but you can give them a home until the holidays.’ So, a few weeks, that allows the animal to decompress in a home and it also allows us to learn more about the animal and therefore find a better home for it in the end,” she said.
You can find more information about pets up for adoption and the foster program here.
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