Animal adoptions increase during the Christmas season

Giving pets as a gift may not be a good idea

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Animal adoptions increase during the Christmas season

A blue brindle peers over a wall in a shelter.

A blue brindle peers over a wall in a shelter.

IMAGE / U.S. Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons

A blue brindle peers over a wall in a shelter.

IMAGE / U.S. Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons

IMAGE / U.S. Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons

A blue brindle peers over a wall in a shelter.

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Many shelters around the country are reporting higher adoption rates this holiday season. These animals are given to friends and family as Christmas gifts.

On one hand, the increase of adoptions is beneficial. Many animals are getting homes, and people are adopting from shelters rather than stores or puppy mills.

On the other hand, animals should not be a surprise. The amount of responsibility required for a new pet is often overlooked.

Mrs. Roberta Angelo, co-founder of Genesee Residents for Animal Control Evolution, said adopting animals is wonderful, as long as it’s carefully planned and thought out.

“I think that most of the time giving someone a pet as a gift is a bad idea,” Angelo said. “All pets are cute, but they all require a lot of care and a lot of time. The person receiving the pet may not have been planning on that kind of commitment.”

“Pets also cost money for things like food and veterinarian visits. Also, I think a lot of times people like to choose their own pet. That can help make sure that the pet is the right fit for the owner.”

Angelo said there are some cases where the gift of a pet isn’t such a bad idea.

If I had to put a number to it, I’d say 90 percent of the time, giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea.”

— Mrs. Roberta Angelo, co-founder Genesee Residents for Animal Control Evolution

“Having said all that, I have seen some instances where a family is giving a pet to someone who is very sad after losing their previous pet and they already have a very good idea of the type of pet that person would want,” Angelo said. “And, of course, parents giving pets to their children is the best idea ever.”

Angleo thinks it just depends on the situation and who is involved.

“I don’t think many issues are 100 percent black and white,” she said. “If I had to put a number to it, I’d say 90 percent of the time, giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea.”

According to the website PAWS, giving a pet to someone as a Christmas gift is not a good idea. After the excitement of a new furry friend for the holiday loses the appeal, the animals usually face neglect.

Ms. Paula Hadden, Genesee County Animal Control volunteer, said the time and work needed to be put into a new pet is often overlooked as families are focused on the cheer and festivities of the holidays.

“I am not a fan of giving a pet as a gift for a Christmas gift,” Hadden said. “I have read that many pets are returned to the shelter after the holidays for various reasons.”

Hadden said that responsibility is often ignored when giving or receiving a puppy or kitten for Christmas. Instead families should carefully plan it out and adopt during a less hectic time.

“If someone is going to adopt a new pet, why wait for the holiday?” Hadden said.

Even though many volunteers voice their concern over the lack of responsibility that goes into the gift of a kitten or puppy, it’s hard to complain since so many animals are getting homes.

Kearsley alumna Sam Miller said it’s a great idea that pets are getting homes, regardless of the season.

“I think that if the situation is right for the family or individual receiving the pet, it’s a great idea,” Miller said. “It gives the pet a warm loving home at the perfect time of year. Having a pet also gives families a complete feeling. Have you ever seen a kid get a puppy and be sad? Not I.”

At Genesee County Animal Control, 1,843 dogs and 1,036 cats were taken into the shelter in 2015, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s annual report. So if the amount of these animals getting homes around Christmas time increases, it might not be such a bad occurrence.

Anytime is a great time to adopt an animal, especially from a shelter, as long as everyone is in agreement and willing to help.”

— Ms. Cheri Martin, volunteer at Genesee County Animal Control

Volunteer coordinator Cheri Martin said that as long as everyone is on board with the new pet and has a thorough understanding of the commitment required, adopting an animal is a great idea.

“Anytime is a great time to adopt an animal, especially from a shelter, as long as everyone is in agreement and willing to help,” Martin said. ” Your new family member will count on you for everything, and your commitment to them should be for their lifetime.

“If treated well, trained, and vetted properly, your new best friend will bring you and your family many years of enjoyment, and you could be saving the life of a shelter animal.”

Adopting an animal for the holidays isn’t a new occurrence. It’s been going on for years.

Christmas morning is supposed to be a joyful time: “The most wonderful time of the year,” as singer Andy Williams crooned. Puppy kisses and kitten cuddles simply add to this joy, even if certain responsibilities have to be taken into account beforehand.

Sophomore Abby Bellmer said adopting a pet for Christmas brings delight to families.

“I think it’s a good idea (to adopt during the holiday season) because it adds a new member to a family and brings tons of happiness,” Bellmer said.

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