Christmas Pets May Not Be a Perfect Present

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The cute little meows of kittens and the adorable sad eyes of puppies could be enough to convenience people to buy them, but is it enough to keep the love going?

"It's not just Christmas morning or New Year's Day. It's long term," Ashley Wesp said. "It's five years from now and vet bills, puppy house-breaking and all of that stuff."

Wesp is the executive director of the Brazos Animal Shelter and says around Christmas, people envision that moment when the puppy or kitten comes out the box. The problem is pets are given without considering the personality of the pet or the person receiving the animal. And that is one reason why the shelter offers gift certificates instead of gift adoptions.

Wesp said, "You don't always know exactly what they want, so it's always really best to let them pick it out. That way they can make that bond and make that commitment, and we don't get the animals back."

Having the person who will be responsible for the pet making the selection could help curb impulse buying and buyer's remorse. Wesp says while the shelter is working on an application, time is the best alternative for the potential pet owner to sit back and evaluate their decision and commitment to have a pet. She won't argue that pets can give a lot of love, but says just like any other addition to your family, there is a cost that has to be paid.

"There is going to be all this enjoyment and love and all that, but at the same time they're work and they're expensive and they have to be committed to that," Wesp said.

While the holidays provide a peak time to find cats and puppies homes, the animal shelter wants to make sure the homes are permanent.

Wesp said, "Any adoption is a good one, but we try and counsel and make sure people get the best adoption possible for their family."