Animal shelters warn against giving pets as Christmas gifts

Animal control officer Jessica McAbee says Christmas is always tough especially for her coworkers at the Warner Robins Animal Control.

“People want to go and adopt an animal for a family member or a friend, thinking that it’s a good idea,” Animal Control Officer Jessica McAbee explained. “Then we’ve got people calling after it’s not in the puppy stage anymore wanting to return it.”

Just before Christmas, shelters typically see an increase in adoptions and a higher number of people ditching their pets as well. Animal control says they’re the ones who have to respond. She shares how “post-Christmas dumping” can impact an animal. In fact, that’s how she rescued her own dog Maze.

“She’s about a year old now because when she came in she was about 6 weeks old, I think she came in on December 28,” McAbee explained. “A lady found her, at Church’s Chicken… and covered in fleas and urine, and no one came looking for them at all.”

Animal control will give people donations to help them keep their animals instead of dumping them, or taking them to a shelter. One volunteer says take time to consider if a pet is a good idea, especially if it’s a gift for someone else. “We just want to make sure that we stress, that when you adopt it’s a forever commitment, it’s a part of your family, and again it’s a forever commitment.”

Volunteer taking care of dog in shelter

Photo: Getty Images

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