Animal welfare workers urge people not to give pets as gifts

GLASGOW, Ky.- It’s the season of giving, but local animal shelters are urging you to not give pets as gifts.

Everyone loves animals, but experts say giving a kitten or a puppy as a gift is not a good idea.

“It’s a bad idea. Usually if they get an animal for a gift, they end up being returned. Once the person who is getting the gift, who didn’t really understand the commitment finds out that they have to do potty training, especially with a puppy, they have to potty train, they have to feed, what the commitment actually is, they don’t want them anymore,” Barren River Animal Welfare Association general manager Connie Greer said.

Kittens and puppies are adorable but giving someone the gift of a pet is not suggested. Every year, animals are given as gifts and so many of those pets end up at the shelter.

“We have seen a few of them. We have a puppy right now that is in the back and the person was given this puppy as a gift, and they didn’t want it. They bring the puppy in, so we end up with the puppy,” Greer said.

Pets are not just for the holidays, they are a lifetime commitment. Food, veterinary care, potty training, grooming and even boarding is part of being a pet owner.

“A pet is a lifetime commitment. They become part of your family, and if they are truly a part of your family, then it shouldn’t matter if you move or have a child, your job changed. You’ll do everything for your child to keep them and if this dog has become part of your family, then you should be doing that as well. That includes sickness and when they get into the older years and maybe become incontinent. Whatever the case may be,” Greer said.

Just last week 54 animals were brought into the shelter.

“I can tell you we are getting more animals in than we are adopting out right now. We are actually up on adoptions. It has been nonstop with animals coming in,” she said.

BRAWA encourages people to adopt a pet, but not to give them as gifts.

If you want to help BRAWA care for the increase in animals, they are always in need of donations.