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Photo Credit: bunnygoth via Compfight cc
The ASPCA conducted a telephone survey in July this year of people who had received their pets, whether they knew about it or not, as a present. Surprisingly, many owners claimed that their affection for their pet increased or had no bearing over whether they received the pet as a gift. Furthermore, around 86 percent of pets are still residing with their owners until they have passed away which is on par with people who acquired their pets through other means (i.e. adoption, purchase from breeder/pet store).  
What is interesting is that the ASPCA originally maintained the stance that adopting pets during festive seasons is not recommended. Now the survey results have prompted them to change their belief and advise that giving pets as gifts is not exactly a bad idea. Other animal welfare groups and animal shelters are not entirely convinced. For example, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (no affiliation with the national organization) has retained its negative view on giving pets as presents.  

Ana Bustilloz of the Los Angeles shelter commented that “The image of a puppy bounding out of a box is something people relish, but the decision to adopt should be done with purpose. We suggest a gift certificate. That way, the adoption is a gift, but the pet is chosen by the person or the entire family.” Fair point there, Ana. There could always be the chance that the pet you buy for someone may not be suitable for them or their family. This way all bases are covered and the horrid notion of taking a newly acquired pet to an animal shelter will not follow through!

In the end if you decide to purchase a pet for a family or friend at Xmas, then it is a good idea to ensure that only a few close family members are around him/her on initial introduction. If there is a huge party going on at the home, it may overwhelm or overexcite the poor animal. Furthermore, the pet may become injured, lost or consume food that is dangerous to their health since it is hard to keep them supervised. Although if a big event cannot be avoided at the time of gift giving, best to confine the new addition in a calm, secure section of the house. Ensure that he/she is regularly checked on until the last of the guests leave so he/she does not feel isolated or lonely. 

Here at Concord Veterinary Hospital we are strong supporters of adoption and rehoming of pets. From time to time we advertise pets available to be adopted from our Facebook page. If you have any questions regarding adoption of a pet, feel free to contact us and we will be very happy to assist you. 

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!!