The idea of giving a furry four-legged friend as a gift at Christmas may seem wonderful, but animal experts say it’s not suggested.
According to A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter Executive Director Chris Stirn, “Pets are a big commitment. Sometimes the best intentions turn out not so well when you give a pet to somebody. They may not be ready for it. They may not really want the pet. They think they would. It tends to be impulsive. It’s better to be sure that the person you’re gifting the pet to knows and is part of the process of picking out the pet because they will be the ones caring for them for their lifetime.”
A majority of the animals returned to A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter in Naperville after the holidays tend to be puppies. Experts suggest there are better ways to approach giving a pet as a gift.
According to Stirn, “If somebody is interested in giving a gift of a pet to a loved one, we would recommend that they bring the loved one to the shelter, so that they can pick out the type of pet that they may be interested in because what you might think would be good for somebody, might not be really good. Sometimes the animals and the people don’t mesh and it’s not the right fit, so we would recommend that they maybe present them a certificate for an adoption to pay an adoption fee as opposed to saying, ‘here’s a new pet for you.’”
Deciding whether to give a furry four-legged friend a home for the holidays doesn’t have to be a daunting task. But there are a variety of things to keep in mind, from choosing a veterinarian and buying pet food to house training and handling.
According to Stirn, “Our hope will be that it will be a busy time for the shelter and that we will adopt out a lot of dogs and cats, but I do feel like in general adoptions are kind of slow right now. I think a lot of people got pets while we were in the pandemic. Hopefully, we’ll have a good season to get some more of our animals out.”
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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