Local animal shelters are warning people to think their adoption decision through before getting a loved one a pet as a gift this holiday season. Shelter officials say every year they see people surrender those holiday pets once they realize they are no longer interested or simply can’t keep up with the time, money and effort it takes to care for a pet.
Sand Springs Animal Welfare officials told News On 6 that they have about 100 cats and dogs in their care with little room left for any incoming animals.
Shelter coordinator Tracy Arvidson said around the holidays people often come in to adopt a pet for their child or loved one as a gift, but sometimes those pets end up back in their care a few months later. Arvidson said they want to stress that a dog or cat is not only a big financial commitment, but also to keep in mind that a pet needs a lot of love and attention as well.
“Sometimes kids will lose interest in pets after a little while and you have to remember parents are the ones that will be taking care of them or if kids go off to college or anything like that you have to remember the pet is yours for its life,” Arvidson said.
She said they certainly want people to come and adopt if they are ready to take on the big commitment.
“I would definitely think about it because a pet is going to be at least a 15-year commitment for the most part,” Arvidson said. “So you really have to remember that is a lifetime commitment and not just for the holidays.”
Sand Springs Animal Welfare has several puppies and kittens up for adoption right now if you’re thinking of picking up your new best friend.
Arvidson said if you do choose to get a pet in the next couple of weeks, make sure to do research on what that dog or cat can have when it comes to specific plants in their reach like a poinsettia or people food.
“Just remember the holidays can be a hard time for the pets it can be stressful having people over and new things going on,” Arvidson said. “You have to watch out for the foods and things you feed them, look up things to make sure you’re not giving them something not good for them.”