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Q: Have you ever given/received a pet as a gift during the holiday season?

December 16, 2008 | By Alieberman | 19 answers | Expired: 2060 days ago

Alieberman

I am working on an article for Pet Pulse about giving pets as gifts during the holiday season. I know some shelter have a policy of not adopting animals out during this time, so shelter workers out there, let me know: does your facility have this policy?

Have any of you received or given pets as X-Mas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa present? Did it work out? If so, why not?

My story is for the beginning of next week, so anyone and everyone, send me your responses! Thank you...

Readers' Answers (19)

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Kelly
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Dec 30, 2008

I don't think its a good idea, especially if its a surprise. I think having a pet is something that needs to be discussed by all parties involved beforehand. I work with a lot of rescue groups & most of them like for the entire family to be involved in the adoption process. They also like to do home visits with the potential new family member so there are no surprises for the pet or adoptive family later. My husband was talking to someone at an adoption event for cats a few days after Christmas & commented on how stressed & depressed some of the cats seemed to be. The coordinator said that they had many returns starting the day after Christmas & it had really negatively affected the cats.

The holidays can be a very stressful chaotic time for animals. Trying to adjust to new surroundings, people & rules while so much is going on often sets an animal up for failure & stresses them out unnecessarily. I've rescued, fostered & adopted enough animals to know that coming into a new home with new people can be scary & stressful in the calmest of circumstances, which the holidays aren't. A lot of people may not understand that especially in this age of instant gratification. I know the emails for rescues have increased immensely since Christmas & I was already getting close to 100 a day.

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Bellacat3
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Dec 26, 2008

We love the holiday season at CatNap from the Heart. A lot of animals find wonderful homes during the month of December. We especially promote special needs pets and pets who have spent several years at the shelter. All potential adopters meet with an adoption counselor and fill out an adoption application. This way we can match people to the right pet for their lifestyle. For families looking to adopt a pet as a gift, we recommend gift certificats and invite the entire family to come and choose their pet after Christmas. Our return rate is extremely low because of the time we put into matchmaking the right pet for the right family. In addition, we allow people to take pets home on a trial basis for 10 days before finalizing the adoption. Over 90% of pets who go out on trial end up being adopted!

Personally, I gave 2 gerbils to my mom for Christmas in 2006. She told all of us that she wanted 2 gerbils so it wasn't a big surprise. It worked out really well and she loves them a great deal.

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mike z.
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Dec 19, 2008

IOn general I dont think they work as surprises. If it is a parent getting a pet for a child knowing that the pet is ultimately thier responsibility, then thats a different story.

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Thad R.
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Dec 18, 2008

I was speaking with a woman yesterday who is buying a kitten for her girlfriend for Christmas. Her girlfriend just lost her cat of 18 years and is devastated. The girlfriend went to a local shelter to pick out another, but became too emotionally upset and had to leave.

So, her friend is going to go to the shelter and pick one out for her. I thought this was a nice story and an example of a situation where purchasing a pet for a gift might be a good idea.

Her friend is ready for the cat, just needs a little help getting over the emotions of losing the other one.

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Trish D.
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Dec 18, 2008

I think it's a terrible idea. I've adopted 2 dogs now that were given as gifts. One from a person that wanted a dog, was given a puppy and mistreated it. The second was treated well, but they didn't want to keep him. Even if you are planning giving a pet as a gift to a pet lover, who are you to make that choice for someone?

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Tina H.
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Dec 17, 2008

Our shelter doesn't do adoptions as blind gifts. The ones that want to give a pet as a gift we give a gift cert. to. the reason why is because we have gotten so many returns because someone might not want that breed or whatever. And we don't want to stress out the animals by being adopted, going to a new place and then being returned again. The gift cert enables the person to choose what is good for them and what they want.

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Claudia
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Dec 17, 2008

Pets should not be given as gifts. However, I have to say that my husband allowed me to own horses - which I asked for as a Christmas gift two years ago.

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Jenison S.
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Dec 17, 2008

I think in general it is wise to encourage folks to get gift certificates (or for shelters to offer them) so that the recipient should think their decision through and pick out a pet they bond with. I think you miss out when you don't get to go and pick out your own pet from a shelter too. Of course, "gifts" for your own kids (knowing they won't be the primary care-takers) or going to a shelter with someone for whom you will be paying the adoption fee as a gift are different stories also. That's my thought. :)

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Dec 17, 2008

We do adopt pets during the Holiday season and participate in Home 4 the Holidays. However, we do not let them be given as gifts. We still require all members of the household to meet the pet. We sell gift certificates to families that want to keep pets a surprise for the children. We then ask that they come back after Christmas to do the actual adoption.

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Allison M.
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Dec 16, 2008

Our shelter does not allow pets to be given as gifts - no matter what time of the year.
Also, my dog was given to me as a gift around Valentine's Day by my Mom and I was actually a little annoyed. I wanted to pick out my own dog. I did not allow myself to get attached to hiim for about two weeks because I didn't know if I was going to keep him or not. We ended up keeping him and I love him to death now, but I would not recommend giving an animal as a gift.

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