Local animal shelters urging families to think twice before gifting a pet for Christmas

Local animal shelters urging families to think twice before gifting a pet for Christmas

YAKIMA, Wash.- Many scramble to get their last minute gifts underneath the tree for the holidays, but there's some gifts that require more thought before making a big purchase, one being pets.

Executive Director at Yakima Humane Society Charles Stanton says surprising someone with an animal isn't always the best idea, and urges people to make sure you've planned ahead instead of making a last minute decision.

"The challenge with this time of year, is that there's so much going on. I would encourage people to make sure their home is ready to adopt and that there's time for the dog to become acclimated, so that they don't get lost in the shuffle of the holidays," said Stanton.

Jenny George just adopted her Husky Jasmine at the Yakima Humane Society today, and says it took her weeks before she made the commitment of getting another dog.

"There's a lot of animals that do need to get adopted, but that depends on the person that's going to receive the gift," said George.

Stanton says often times when people get a dog or cat as a gift, they don't realize that they have to dedicate anywhere from 6 to 15 years of care for that pet.

"Numerous adoptions and returns for the same animal is traumatic. A lot of times it's seen as 'it's going to be really cute, a dog is going to be underneath the tree and the kids are going to be so excited.' Then a couple of weeks later they say this doesn't work for us and the animal is brought back," said Stanton.

Stanton recommends if you need more time to decide before Christmas if you want a new fury friend to add to the family, instead of pet underneath your tree you can get an adoption gift certificate as an alternative.

The Yakima Humane Society is also in need of foster families for pets. If you aren't ready not ready to adopt but are able to open your home temporary, you can do so by visiting the Yakima Humane Society.

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