COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Humane societies tend to see a spike in dogs returned to shelters a few months following Christmas.
Many people who receive the animals as gifts believe they will take care of the animals, but ultimately return the animals to shelters.
Puppie at the Columbus Lowndes Humane Society on Dec. 18, 2020.
Kittens at the Columbus Lowndes Humane Society on Dec. 18, 2020.
“It’s not a gift. It’s not a present. It’s a living, breathing animal,” Columbus Lowndes Humane Society manager Jason Nickles said.
Caring for an animal is a long-term commitment.
“A dog can live 15 years; same for cats,” he said. “So your lifestyles are going to change. Maybe you’re in an apartment. Maybe you’re going to get a house. So, think about all that before you actually get one because it’s not fair to get one, have it for a little bit, and then turn around and bring it right back.”
Along with living situations, Nickles said it's important to determine if you can afford the animal and the vet check-ups that come with the animals.
“Things happen. They might eat a ball and now it’s stuck in their stomach and you’ve got to spend a lot of money on it, and that kind of stuff, so just be prepared financially.”
Pet owners must allow their new furry friends time to become acquainted with their new homes and surroundings.
“It could take weeks. It could take months. It all depends on the dog. They’re all different, but just give them time.”
For anyone who is ready for the commitment, Nickles said the humane society will deliver pets on Christmas Day if asked.