Visit a local shelter first before giving a pet as a holiday gift, animal advocates say – Boston 25 News

EAST BROOKFIELD, Mass. — Thinking of gifting a homeless pet for the holidays?

A local animal shelter advises against completely surprising someone with a pet, as often animals given as holiday gifts are turned in to local shelters after the holiday season is over.

Potential adopters should carefully consider bringing an animal home for the holidays and should take the time to match the animal with the best forever home, said Sheryl Blancato, founder and CEO of Second Chance Animal Services in East Brookfield, in a statement Monday. .

A harsh reality is the unseen effect of pets surrendered to shelters shortly after the holidays, she said.

“Deciding to bring a pet into your family is extremely enjoyable, but it’s also a significant commitment,” said Blancato. “Extensive research and careful consideration of your family’s lifestyle is critical. Owning a pet is an important responsibility, both when they are young and as they grow older. Adopting a pet is a promise for life.”

“Of course, we hope all of our pets spend the holidays in their new homes, but we want them to find homes with dedicated, loving families ready to take on the responsibility of caring for their new, furry family member,” Blancato said. “Surrendering back to a shelter takes a serious toll on the animals. To see them waiting for their owner to return is truly heartbreaking.”

To encourage responsible pet adoption, Second Chance recommends donating a pet bed or bowl accompanied by a note expressing your intention to responsibly explore pet ownership.

A handmade gift certificate for a visit to a local shelter, paired with an informative pet care book, can make a great gift for young children, Blancato said.

“This approach ensures that the decision to welcome a pet is well-informed and creates an unforgettable experience of the joy of going to the shelter together to choose the pet,” she said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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