FORT MYERS, Fla. — Are you thinking about adopting a pet for the holidays? A local animal shelter has hundreds of puppies, kittens, dogs and cats waiting for a great home right now.
Christmas is right around the corner and you may be thinking about gifting a pet this season. Remember to "adopt - don’t shop." Also if you are thinking about surprising someone with a pet, it may be best to bring them in first.
“It’s a living being that you’re adopting," says Gulf Coast Humane Society's Brian Wierima. "The significant other may not know what the rules are for the rentals, or maybe they’re allergic."
Brian recommends making it an event rather than a surprise. Go out and buy the dog bed, the dog toys, the cat toys and make it a family event. "Then come in together and your surprise is who you’re going to take home," Wierima recommends.
The current return rate for adopted animals is under 10 percent.
“When there are returns, that’s a traumatic thing for the family and then also for the animal too. We want quality adoptions here and our kennel staff does a phenomenal job matching up our forever friends with the family,” said Wierima.
Jordan Nold is a combat veteran who adopted an animal Wednesday.
“I just need a happy soul in my life right now," said Nold. "We had a lot in common; he needs someone to take care of him and I need someone to take care of me.”
Gulf Coast Humane Society is a no-kill shelter so they do not euthanize their animals to free up kennel space. Wierima says the fees you pay incorporate the costs to spay/neuter, vaccinate and microchip the animal.
“Just make sure you adopt. Dogs aren’t a commodity, so don’t shop around,” said Nold.
“Adopting your forever friend, that’s the way to go. You’re literally saving a life,” added Wierima.
If you aren’t ready to adopt just yet, the shelter is accepting monetary donations to help with day-to-day costs of care at Gulf Coast Humane Society. Plus, they are always accepting new volunteers.