Pet adoption center debunks myth that you should not give pets as gifts

The adoption center said that the return rate from adoptions is not different during the...
The adoption center said that the return rate from adoptions is not different during the holiday season than any other time of the year.(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 20, 2018 at 12:07 PM EST
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"Don't give pets as gifts" is commonly heard around the holiday season, but a pet adoption center in the Valley says there may not be truth to that advice.

The story always goes that adoption centers see a huge spike in abandoned and returned pets after Christmas from people who realize they weren't ready to take care of a pet.

But Laken Richer, the adoption program manager at Anicira Adoption Center in Harrisonburg, said it is OK to give pets as presents as long as you do your research.

"They actually are more likely to keep the animal because they feel a little bit more affection because someone that loved them gave them a gift," said Richer.

According to Richer, the number of pets they see coming in in the weeks after the holiday season is about the same as the number they see year-round.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions to make sure you're not surprising someone with a surprise they're not prepared to handle.

If you plan on giving a pet as a gift, Richer says it's important that you know if the person receiving the pet wants one and if the pet you're getting is the kind they're looking for.

She says this time of year is beneficial to adopting because a lot of people have time off of work and kids are home from school.

"It is actually a really good time to get an animal and to get them acclimated when you're around and you can start the training process and everything like that," said Richer.

This year, Anicira has hit a record number of adoptions with over 600. Richer said the last few weeks have been especially busy for them with adoptions. Anicira encourages folks to adopt a pet before purchasing one at a store.