UP shelters advise holiday restraint when gifting pets

Not only can surprising someone with a new pet become a financial burden, many dogs and cats...
Not only can surprising someone with a new pet become a financial burden, many dogs and cats can be over a decade long commitment.(wluc)
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 1:57 PM EST
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - Now that the holiday season is in full swing U.P. animal shelters remind everyone that bringing home a pet for Christmas may not be the best decision.

Alger County Animal Shelter Caregiver Alexis Downing says while it may seem like a fun way to surprise someone, a new pet is a huge responsibility.

“When someone is not prepared for an animal, it can be more of a burden than a gift,” Downing said. “You must consider the financial aspect of it. If someone isn’t expecting a puppy and a puppy shows up at their house, there are things like medical bills and do they have the time, energy and means to take care of this animal.”

Delta County Animal Shelter Adoption Specialist Vonnie Bruce says if you are going to adopt during the holidays make sure it is something you have planned for.

“I think it can be a fun thing, but it needs to be something that is thought about and not a rushed decision,” Bruce said. “We do see when that happens a lot of those animals get returned in the early spring back to the shelter.”

Bruce says those who do adopt prematurely oftentimes need to surrender their new pet later on.

“There is a little bit of uptick in the early spring after Christmas from people who made a rushed decision,” Bruce said.

Downing has another gift idea for the animal lover in your life.

“Another option is to make a donation in honor of the person to whom you would otherwise be giving the animal to,” Downing said.

Visit the Alger County or Delta County animal shelters’ websites to donate or volunteer.