As another holiday season comes to a close, the parking lots and customer service desks at many of your favorite retailers will become flooded with dissatisfied people of all ages anxiously awaiting to return the Christmas gifts that don’t fit, they don’t like, or simply weren’t on their wish lists.
While most unwanted gifts can be returned with a receipt for cash or store credit, not everything under the tree is so lucky. On many Christmas lists each and every year is a new pet. Perhaps it’s the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but what many parents and children fail to realize is that getting a new pet for Christmas is a life-long commitment, which involves more planning and consideration than most people are willing to commit. And while a new kitten or puppy may make the cutest Christmas gift under the tree, it can lead to a disturbing spike that most animal shelters have come to see as a yearly ritual.
It may seem like a picture-perfect scene from a Hallmark movie, but unwrapping a new pet on Christmas morning can lead to skyrocketing animal abandonment numbers.
It’s in the weeks after the holiday festivities are said and done that shelters become swamped with abandoned animals that people simply decide they no longer want or can no longer care for.
People return their Christmas pets to a shelter for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was the wrong shape, color, or size, or it simply wasn’t what the new owner had in mind when they asked for a new pet. What often happens is that people think, “Oh, my new pup will find a new home quickly!” Sadly, that’s simply not the case. For many animals, their lives come to untimely ends in jam-packed animal shelters.