Pets as holiday gifts may end up at the shelter

Adopting Pets for Christmas

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Giving a pet as a Christmas present sometimes ends up being returned to an animal shelter.

Assistant Director of the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services and Adoption Center Tiffany Gardner said during the holidays pets are brought back because people find them to be too much of a responsibility, or not the right pet.

"They get something they may not be exactly ready for," Gardner said. "They may realize it's not a good fit for their home."

She said once a pet is adopted, another animal takes its place at the shelter. When the animal is returned, finding a spot for it becomes difficult.

"We usually house 300 and 400 animals every day," Gardner said. "It's really hard and we stay so full."

So the Adoption Center, located on Broad Street, developed a new way of giving a pet as gift—gift cards. The family can come in on their own when there's more time and less pressure to pick out the pet that's best suited for them. Gardner said when people do it this way, they don't get as many returns.

She said before impulsively adopting an animal, those interested in adopting should go to the shelter and spend time with the animals to find the right one.

But this holiday season, Gardner said why not just give to those who are in need.

"We're always in need of different things. Blankets and towels. Toys and treats," she said.

And this year, the Adoption Center is in need of blankets and towels for the cats and dogs. Gardner said they have a lot of outdoor kennels for the dogs.

"They have a concrete base on the bottom and so we ask people to donate blankets, dog beds, anything they can to keep them off the cold wet ground at night," she said. "We go through blankets and towels like you wouldn't believe."

Gardner said the Center will accept new and used blankets and towels.

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