Plan ahead before giving pets as a Christmas gift

Plan ahead before giving pets as a Christmas gift - clipped version

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Area shelters are reminding people to plan past the picture-perfect Christmas morning when it comes to adopting pets as gifts.

They are so cute and so cuddly. Who would not want a puppy named Blitzen for Christmas?

But those who run shelters in Wichita County like the Humane Society say to beware of buyer’s remorse. Executive Director Cheryl Miller said, “We do ask you take this serious. Puppies or kittens are a lifetime commitment.

It is not only puppies and kittens being adopted during the holidays and then returned. Miller said, “We do have a few older dogs that have already been turned in.” Those dogs are being brought back to make room for a younger dog.

Kimber Hopkins with Emily's Legacy Rescue does not buy into all of that. “I don't know if I could handle a puppy. I can handle one that's a little older.”

She said it is better to adopt dogs that fit your lifestyle, which is why she adopted an adult dog named Nina. “It is adding another family to your home and making it work, and it doesn’t happen overnight,” Hopkins said.

Rescues like hers and places like the Wichita Falls Animal Services Center love to see their kennels emptied out and pets with new families.

A Home for the Holidays adoption event is being held at the center this week, but they want potential pet parents to be ready. Adoptions Supervisor Diann Bowman said, “Come in, find the animal you like, fill out an application, if you live in the city we do a fence check. Any current animals in your home need to be current on their rabies and spayed or neutered, and you also are required to go to your veterinarian and pre-pay for the spay or neuter for the animal you're wanting to adopt.”

They do not want pets to go to just any home, but a loving home. “It takes them a while to acclimate, it takes them a while to get used to new surroundings, new people in the home. It's good to give them that time and be patient with them and help them make those adjustments to fit into your life,” Bowman said.

Beginning Thursday, December 5, people can adopt pets from the Animal Services Center for $20, which is half the price.

They will wrap things up with their Home for the Holidays event on Saturday, December 7 starting at 10 am until 2 pm.

Emily’s Legacy Rescue is also taking donations of all kinds, especially pet food. They are also looking for fosters to take in pets for the holidays.

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