Giving a pet as a gift for Christmas

It’s tempting to gift your loved one with an adopted pet, but the reality is that it usually doesn’t lead to a happy ending for the beloved animal.

Each year, CARE Humane Society in Auburn sees an average of two to three adoptions a day from Dec. 1 through Christmas. People who agree to adopt usually give the animal as a surprise gift, which usually turns owners into pets.

“We see pets return to the shelter within a month or two of being given as gifts,” said Josh Mitchell, the shelter’s health manager.

“Eros” looks out the window of his kennel on March 25, 2023 at the CARE Humane Society shelter in Auburn.

Photos by Adam Sparks,

CARE Humane Society Several other shelters around the country are struggling with overcrowding issues.

While providing shelters. Resources to help owners, many people don’t always take them. Instead they decide to return the pet. With limited space, the shelter is forced to euthanize some animals without a forever home.

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Mitchell said there are many pet owners to consider when looking for a pet, so it’s important to be involved in the adoption process.

“When it comes to a boyfriend or girlfriend or significant other, or a young adult trying to get their parents a pet as a gift. We always recommend that the recipient be part of the decision-making process. Be.”

Also, there are different stages in life where one may welcome a new furry friend, such as when one is grieving a loved one. Still, timing is everything.

“Sometimes people aren’t ready. Sometimes the animal isn’t the right fit. Every animal is different,” Mitchell said.

Lee County Humane Society

“Moostachio,” a stray cat, peers through a cardboard box at the Care Humane Society shelter in Auburn on Thursday, March 25, 2023.

Adam Sparks/

There are a variety of reasons why someone might return an animal to a shelter, but most of it boils down to the same thought process. The person may not be in a position to care for a pet or may be able to care for a specific animal.

Many shelters offer rescue gift certificates that cover adoption fees for a specific animal or just in general, Mitchell said. Giving them a gift certificate gives them the opportunity to come to the shelter, meet an animal they want to meet and possibly adopt an animal they’re interested in meeting and bonding with.

“When we bring them back, that means a lot of them haven’t bonded or they haven’t had to choose that particular animal. They’re not fully invested, which is the rate of return. contributes.” said the health manager.

To cope with overcrowding in the sanctuary, Care Humane Society Started an intake diversion program in September to help people care for their pets. They help with the challenges of animal care.

Mitchell said surrender can be frustrating when there are easy solutions to owners’ problems.

“We want to be able to help care for strays and reunite them with their owners and help the community with real animal welfare issues. The constant influx of surrenders has hindered that in many ways. put in,” he said.

Community support can help LCHS provide these critical services and work toward a brighter future for Auburn and Opelika’s animals. visit For more information.

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