It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the season of giving! During the holidays, many people decide to give dogs or cats as gifts, which can be a boon to shelter pets.
“There are millions of animals in need in the United States alone, and choosing to adopt a pet is an incredible gift to not only that animal, but also to your household, for it will never again be short of love and tail wags,” said Tiana Nelson, president and chief operating officer of PawsCo, a nonprofit animal welfare organization based in Denver, Colorado.
Of course, welcoming a new pet into your home is a big commitment—one people aren’t always ready to make. Sadly, animal shelters see an influx of pets after the holidays when people receive them as gifts but are unable or unwilling to care for them, Nelson said. Rather than surprising someone with a pet they might not keep, she recommends visiting a shelter or looking at adoption websites as a family to make the decision together about which pet to bring home.
“Wrapping a note or animal supplies and then making the gift ‘Let’s pick out a new pet together’ is another way to bring an animal in need into the family,” she said. “Consider visiting your local...