CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Every year around this time, dogs and cats are purchased as Christmas gifts and unfortunately many of those animals end up in shelters several weeks after the holidays.
"Within the first month, shelters all cross the country will stat to have an influx of animals. things that didn't go right. Surprises. Bring an animal home that no one really wanted but it was just a neat thing or the children really wanted it and the excitement wore off in a week and they realize how much trouble it is. The other thing you see is that it's a puppy now but some of these puppies become big adult dogs. 50-70 lbs and they were not ready for that," said the new Humane Educational Society executive director Bob Citrullo.
If you're purchasing an animal, especially a purebred from a pet store or breeder, expect to pay hundreds even thousands of dollars. That's money you most likely won't get back if the animal is too much work for the person you bought it for.
If you still insist on surprising a loved one with a pet for Christmas, you might want to consider adopting one from the Human Society.
"From Thanksgiving through New Years, all of our adoptions are free of charge and we do that so adopters can spend some extra money on some of the good stuff like a collar, leash, ID tags," said Humane Educational Society volunteer coordinator Jeanine Cloyd.
The free adoptions are made possible through donations to an annual program called ' Tree of Hope.'
Another advantage to adopting an animal from the Humane Society is that the animals are already spayed, neutered and vaccinated so it's one less expense to worry about after the Christmas holidays.
The animals have also been evaluated so you'll know the dog or cats temperament. Plus you would be helping a homeless animal find a loving owner.
To make the selection process easier, The Humane Educational Society has adoption counselors on hand address any questions or concerns about adopting a pet for a Christmas.