Augusta, Georgia (WJBF)- Many parents plan to give their children a pet for Christmas. But is it a good idea? An Augusta clinic and animal shelter probably says no.
“Please don’t. Please do not have pets. Pets are not for Christmas. Pets are not for the holidays. Pets are forever. You have to be able to take your time, make sure they have a place to live for their entire lives,” said Loretta Emmons, owner of Heartsong Spay and Neuter Clinic, one of the only all-species sanctuaries in Georgia. .
Emmons thinks it’s a better idea to wait until after the holidays to get a new pet. She said often people’s hearts are in the right place, but the holidays can be dangerous for a new pet.
Things like Christmas trees and poinsettias can be toxic to pets. Some end up in the emergency vet because they were fed a holiday food that is also toxic to them.
Emmons thinks it’s also best to bring a pet home on a more normal schedule to see how it fits in with your family.
“But wait until the tree has fallen and that sort of thing because it’s very dangerous for pets. When you enter the shelter, spend time with the animal. Don’t just walk past the cages and be like, “Oh this one is cute, I want that one.” Because this cute dog may not be well trained, he might be a biter. There are all kinds of things. And when you bring a dog home, give it time to acclimate,” she said.
The ASPCA recommends before buying a pet for someone else that you should first make sure that person wants a new pet.
You also need to make sure that a new pet will fit into that person’s lifestyle. Parents purchasing a new pet for a child should be prepared to take full responsibility for the care of the animal.
Jennifer Miller is president of Friends of Animal Shelter in Aiken. She agrees with Emmons that giving a pet as a gift isn’t always a good idea, but with the right information and verification, it can work.
“Well, we’re very careful about that because a pet has a big responsibility, especially a puppy or a kitten. They need a lot of time and after Christmas people go back to work and back to school. school. Who’s going to take care of the pup? So we really try to educate any potential adopters and we find that we’re doing quite well in our education,” Miller explained.
At present, Aiken County Animal Shelter and FOTAS are holding a promotion event for Aiken County residents during the holidays. The shelter will be closed for four days and they hope to send shelter animals home for the holidays so they won’t be alone for so long.