Animal shelters warn of gifting animals for the holidays

Animal shelters warn of gifting animals as presents
Animal shelters warn of gifting animals as presents
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
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COLBERT CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Animal service workers at the Florence/Lauderdale and Colbert County animal shelters are asking families to do their research before adopting an animal for a friend or family member.

Director of Florence/Lauderdale animal services Cheryl Jones said the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year for pet adoption. While that sounds like a good thing Jones says dogs and cats given as gifts often end up back in the shelter after the holiday season.

“We had a situation where somebody got their mom a dog and she was horrified. She cried and they had to bring it back here,” she said.

Jones said it’s important to remember the decision is personal and often varies.

“It’s not like picking a shirt out for somebody,” she said. “What you envision might work out for someone may not work for them.”

Shelters in Colbert and Lauderdale counties are already experiencing capacity issues and employees at both shelters say that an influx of returned animals could put a larger strain on two already full shelters.

Jessica McGee at the Colbert County shelter said anyone buying an animal, specifically a younger animal, needs to be prepared to commit to taking care of it.

“If you get a puppy, just know that it is a lifetime commitment. You cannot bring them and drop them right back off when you don’t want them. They won’t stay a puppy, and they’ll get bigger. We get calls daily about people wanting puppies, but no one wants the older dogs,” she said.

Both Florence/Lauderdale and Colbert shelters have more information on their websites.