So, as you might see from the articles I posted, the issue is not as simple as gift/Christmas pet = bad. It’s far more nuanced than that German Shepherd Tree Christmas shirt. Often, there’s a spike in shelter surrenders in the beginning of December, and the reasons are unclear. Possibly, it’s people figuring out that it’s hard to take vacation when you have an animal at home. Or they’re too busy with everything going on. Possibly, it’s people figuring out they want a new animal instead. As far as gift animals? It’s not the fact that the animals are a gift that they are returned (some research says it’s actually more likely that a person will have a better bond with a gift animal). It’s most likely got a lot more to do with a mismatch in personality, energy, maintenance level, etc. A large percentage of animals surrendered are due to aggression. Others are surrendered due to too much energy/destructiveness.
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This makes a lot more sense when you look at the German Shepherd Tree Christmas shirt for surrenders while considering the research the ASPCA has done. They found that gift pets are actually more likely to be kept. But with surrenders going up in the early year, that shows that people aren’t doing a thorough job considering what the recipient wants and expects from a pet. For example, I love dogs. Hypothetically, I’d totally love to get a dog as a gift (except for the fact that we are at our 2-pet limit). However, I don’t want a massive German Shepard. I don’t want an endlessly energetic Jack Russell. I have specific things I want in a pet. So does every other prospective pet owner (even if they don’t know it). If you’re going to give a pet to someone, do your research. Yes, the animal is cute, but what traits are usual for that breed/animal? What kind of energy does it have? What kind of grooming needs are there? How much space will it need? How easy is the animal to train? Does the recipient have any limitations? Allergies? Is the recipient experienced in care for this type of animal? From your common hamster to your Great Dane, you need to be able to answer these questions before you even think about giving a pet. And if you can’t, don’t.