Pet for a Christmas gift? What you need to know

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - If you are thinking of surprising someone with a puppy or kitten this Christmas, then you need to read this.

Southeast Missouri Humane Society Board President Charlotte Craig said unless you will be living with the pet you adopt, gifting a pet is not recommended.

"Most of the time it isn't a good idea," Craig said. "But if you are a parent and you know you're going to give your child a gift of a kitten or puppy, dog or a cat for Christmas, that kind of adoption is totally okay. Because mom and dad are going to help and provide and take care of the pet."

Craig said overall, gifting a pet doesn't work out many times because of several reasons. Sometimes the person isn't ready for a pet, they don't connect well with their furry friend or number of other reasons.

Craig said it's best if you bring them by to check out the pets themselves first.

"Forget the surprise element part of it," Craig added. "Let them know ahead of time that you would like to provide the funds for an adoption."

Craig said there are other ways to surprise people with the gift of a pet.

"If you want to, instead of just informing them, make up a cute little card on a computer and say, 'I want to give you the gift of a kitten or puppy,'" Craig explained.

She also added that it's best if they pick out their own animal.

"Most everybody wants to pick out their own animal," Craig added.

Workers at the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri want to see the animals in forever homes and want what is best for them. They feel it's devastating for the animals if they are returned but understand some circumstances are unforeseen.

"We cherish how we take care of them," Craig said. "Once they leave and get into a quiet situation and have a chance to take a deep breath, then to be brought back into the shelter. It is very stressful for an animal."

Overall it's best to know what you want from your furry companion and to pick it out yourself as this is a long-term commitment to have these furry friends part of your home.

"A lot of adoptions that we see, it's a connection. It's a physical connection," Craig said. It's the way of a tail. It's the tilt of a head. And for some reason, that's how a person connects with the pet, cat, dog, horse or goat."

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