As christmas get closer many people enjoy buying gifts for families and friends but buying someone a pet as a christmas gift might not be the best idea. Buying a pet comes with great responsibility but often times, the pets that were given as gifts end up back in shelters. The excitement of receiving a new pet can be very rewarding but a pet is for life, not everyone who may receive one can be ready for the task.

The ASPCA recommends the giving of pets as gifts only to people who have expressed a sustained interest in owning one, and has the ability to care for it responsibly. They also  recommend that pets be obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, friends, family or responsible breeders–not from places where the source of the animal is unknown or untrusted.

Instead of buying an actual cat or dog for someone, you can use a bed or a stuffed animal with an adoption certificate and put it underneath your christmas tree to symbolize the thought of adopting a pet. Jonathan Pena a Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions staff stated “I would definitely recommend for families that are looking for pets this Christmas season to come and adapt. We have so many animals here who are full of love and joy that would love to go home to a family that would take care of them.” Consider some of these alternatives before creating a forever home.

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