Gifting a pet? Better think

Adopting a pet from a shelter ranks as one of the top impulse buys of the year and should be avoided during the Christmas season, according to experts.Folks who care for stray and abandoned pets at area shelters and pet foster homes agree that bringing home a pet shouldn’t be a surprise and should be well thought out beforehand. In addition, because the holidays are typically very busy, it also isn’t a good time to bring home a new dog or cat.“This shouldn’t be an impulse buy,” said Debbie Bauer, adoption coordinator at the Effingham County Humane Society.“We don’t do same day adoptions,” said Bauer. “We want to give people time to go home and think about it, before making that commitment.”Bauer said when someone adopts a pet, it is intended to be for the lifetime of the pet, which in some cases could be about 15 years.“Everyone wants to get a pet that’s cute and cuddly, but they grow up,” she said. “Then they go through the teenage stage. They get obnoxious. Then, the owner wants to bring the pet back to us – or worse.”Bauer said instead of adopting a pet as a surprise for a child, it might be better to start with a stuffed animal, and attach a certificate saying the young recipient could consider adopting a pet later, after the holidays.This adoption would come after they’ve visited various dogs or cats and talked about the responsibilities that go into being a pet owner. It’s also good to match the potential owner’s personality, schedule and energy level, with the pet’s personality.“An elderly person might not enjoy a puppy or a kitten,” said Bauer. “It might not be a good match.”

Source: Gifting a pet? Better think again – Effingham Daily News: Local News

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