NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – This Christmas a puppy may be on your wish list.
Local animal shelters are asking future pet owners to adopt, not gift animals this holiday season.
“You never want to give a pet as a gift. This happens a lot at the holidays. People think they want a puppy and they may mention it to you, but the connection that you make with an animal is your connection. No one else can make that connection,” said Petrina Bartel of Kind Keepers Animal Rescue.
The American Humane Association reports that one in ten dogs are returned to shelters after less than six months in a new home.
“If you want to sponsor their adoption or something like that as a gift and say when you’re ready I donated to Kind Keepers to sponsor an adoption for you in the future,” said Bartel.
Common reasons for pets to be returned are unexpected costs, disobedience, and hyperactivity.
“Puppies are a lot of work. I mean it’s like you have a baby. They need to be cared for. They need to be fed. They need to be cleaned up after. They need to learn and be disciplined. You have to teach them manners. How to interact with other dogs,” said Bartel.
Bartel says the more time you spend with your dog, the better behaved it will be.
“If you work all day, you know, we get it. We all have to work, but either have someone come in and take care of it or send it to a puppy daycare. It can’t be put in a crate for eight hours and then you come home and expect a perfect dog,” said Bartel.
Another consideration to make is if you are financially stable to care for a pet.
“They’re going to have illnesses, they’re going to have problems and you don’t give up on them. They’re your family. They love you and they expect to be with you for their entire life. That’s what we expect when someone adopts these are forever homes that we want them to go to,” said Bartel.
If owning a pet is not the best option for you Kind Keepers is always looking for volunteers to help play and care for their pets.