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ASPCA: “It’s okay to give pets as gifts”

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If you’re hesitant on giving a loved one a four-legged friend as a gift this holiday season, that’s understandable.  It has been a long-held belief by many in the animal world that you should not give gifts as pets because the animal would be at a higher risk of being returned to a shelter.

But in a recent study from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) the myth that pet gifts are bad is busted.  Now that ASPCA finds that 96% of people who received the furry friends as gifts thought it either increased or had no impact on their love to that pet.

Vinnie Mackison has owned the Bow Wow Shoppe for more than 40 years.  In her experience, she says pets could be a great gift, if you know how to handle them.

Mackison says, “They should take them home and treat them as a baby, just like a human baby.”

At the East York Veterinary Center, doctors agree. Vet, Chris Lopresto says, “They’re not disposable, they’re not dispensable and you need to be willing to make that commitment for the rest of his or her life.”

Lopresto says if you’re the gift giver, make sure it’s not a surprise.  He says, “The pet is a commitment, it’s a living thing, needs to be fed, cared for, needs veterinary medical care.”

When you receive the gift, establish a relationship with a local vet.  Lopresto says, “Not only in providing medical care, but in giving you tips, offering help, guiding you through the things you’ll experience and additionally, research the pet.”

The ASPCA also reports 86% of the pets referred to in their study are still in the home they were originally given to.  If you are interested in adopting animals, contact the ASPCA.