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Giving pets as gifts for Christmas

Giving pets as gifts for Christmas

YAKIMA, Wash.- Every year thousands of pets are dropped off at animal shelters, and veterinarians see an increase during the holidays.

Veterinarians are asking people to avoid surprises, and have a talk with that person first before adding a new addition to the family.

"We all want pets as part of our family, but it's a serious commitment. We are inviting a pet to our family for the next ten to 15 years," said Dr. Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Medical Director at Yakima Humane Society.

Fitzgerald recommends that if you do decide to get a pet, adopt a rescue.

"Millions of pets every year enter rescue groups, and only about half of them across the country receive new homes. So anytime we can support a rescue or a humane society, you really are saving a life," said Fitzgerald.

The Board Treasurer at Wags to Riches, Stacey Mayne, says over the last few years they have taken in several dogs and cats that were Christmas gifts.

"For every time that happens, we get other animals that are abandoned, dropped off or dumped somewhere that we can't help. In this country, we put down about 9,000 healthy adoptable animals every single day, including Christmas. People need to really research and involve your family. It's one way that you can be a part of the solution," said Mayne.

Fitzgerald also recommends giving gift certificates as another option for the holidays.

"That way you are able to put something in the stocking, but still leaving the opportunity for the caregiver to go find that perfect match themselves," said Fitzgerald.

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