Giving a pet as a gift not a bad thing, just let the owner know
CLARKS SUMMIT - Kate Andrews said giving a pet as holiday gift isn't a bad thing in and of itself.
But giving a pet as a gift when the future owner is in the dark about the purchase rarely works out well.
"As with most Christmas gifts, the glow wears off," said Andrews, the assistant director of Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.
Having a pet is a serious commitment.
She remembers a recent occasion when a couple received a new puppy for a gift. The problem was, they already had an 8-year-old beagle and they couldn't handle two dogs. They decided to give up the older dog, and Andrews said the beagle had a hard time making the transition from a quiet house to the loud shelter.
This holiday season has not seen much in the way of animal drop-offs as the result of gift giving, she said. But it does happen, it isn't primarily associated with Christmas and it is always heartbreaking.
But throughout the holiday season, adoptions and drop-off rates have been steady at Griffin Pond. Elsewhere, much the same trend seems to hold.
In Honesdale's Dessin Animal Shelter, manager Debbie Moore does not believe that there were any more or any fewer animals donated during the holiday season. As for animals that were dropped off as a result of gift-giving, she cannot think of any.
"We didn't have any more or any less adopted because of the holidays," Moore said. "Steady business throughout the year."
Cindy Starke, manager of the SPCA of Luzerne County, said on occasion an animal is dropped off because the owner received it as a gift but could not keep it. That is why it is important that the future owner personally come in and look at the animals before making the long-term commitment of pet-ownership.
"Something happens. It's kind of a connection and they just know that's the pet," Starke said. "Sometimes I think they have a way of soliciting the owner."
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