Giving animals as holiday gifts now OK

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There has been a long-standing belief that giving pets as Christmas gifts is a bad idea. But many animal advocacy groups say that’s no longer the case. 

The Humane Society of the United States now says that belief is ill-informed, and many rescue groups are embracing adoptions at the holidays.

Some shelters have refused to let people adopt pets as holiday gifts because it was felt that people weren’t serious and the animals could end up abandoned or back in the system.

A 2013 study by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals showed the majority of people who were given a pet kept it. In fact, many people said it actually increased their affection towards their “gift”. 

In addition, the study suggested that a no-holiday adoption policy unnecessarily impedes the overarching goal of increasing adoptions across the country. If someone has their heart set on giving an animal as a gift and are refused by a shelter, they are likely to purchase one online that could be from a puppy mill. According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year.

If you are giving a furry present this year, it is important to remember that your gift is a living being. A wagging tail doesn’t have to be under the Christmas tree. Instead, think about giving a certificate to the person, and taking them to a shelter to pick one out. If you have trouble picking out socks for someone, how can you pick out their pet? 

There is a special bond between an animal and their owner, and it is worth the extra step to make sure the decision is good for human and animal alike.

 

Watch the video to see how a military working dog’s former handler gave him the best gift possible.

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