Holiday season is in full effect and many are in search of the perfect present for their loved ones. Gifting friends or family members with an adorable new puppy or kitten is popular but not recommended for several reasons. Pets require a lifetime commitment, which includes time and financial demands. Unprepared new pet parents might regret the gift, and even re-gift the pet (sometimes to our overwhelmed animal care centers!).
Before surprising someone with a pet as a gift, here are some things to consider:
• Determine the level of interest in owning a pet.
• Will they be a responsible pet owner?
• If the recipient is a child, will the parents assume care for the animal? Have the parents agreed to bringing a new pet into their home?
• Will they have enough free time to tend to the pet’s needs?
• Are they able and willing to accept the ongoing financial responsibilities of pet ownership?
• Is this a surprise? We recommend that the recipient is able to pick out their own pet and have the opportunity to bond with the animal before bringing it home. A home-made gift certificate can be presented to the gift recipient. Gift givers can create and print out a personal gift certificate on their own personal computer to give to the recipient.
Once you contemplate the answers to the points above and decide to give a gift of a precious pet, please remember the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control has hundreds of wonderful animals in its seven animal care centers. Find your nearest animal care center here on our website.
Also, if you determine a pet may not be the best gift this holiday season and have a close friend or relative that loves animals, there are other ways to recognize their love for animals. A donation in their name to the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation is a wonderful way to support our work on behalf of animals in need.
Also, you may share with them some amazing opportunities DACC has to foster a loving animal and/or participate in our volunteer program. Find information on how to become a foster parent. Learn more about the volunteer opportunities.
Pets are the gifts that keep on giving with their unconditional love. Let’s make sure they are a welcome addition to the family so they and their new pet parents can enjoy a lifetime of devotion to each other. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!