FORT MYERS, Fla. — Christmas is fast approaching and pets are popular gifts to give a loved one. Having a new animal friend to snuggle and play with may feel like a dream, but Gulf Coast Humane Society is reminding people of the true reality.
"If you're getting a puppy, just know you're going to lose a flip-flop!" says Jennifer Galloway, CEO Gulf Coast Humane Society. "Just know that those kinds of things are going to happen cause they're teething."
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the animal shelter has reached record-breaking numbers of pet adoptions this year.
While this is great news, they want to remind people ahead of Christmas that animals are not toys. The decision to adopt for a friend or family member is not always best.
"A lot of times we don't know what the lifestyle is, because we think it's fun to give a puppy or a kitten, but they're a lot of work," says Galloway. "And you gotta make sure. That's a big decision to take a puppy on and that's a decision the receiver should make."
This is why the center sees so many pets given up for adoption after the holiday season.
"At the end of January and February we do see more surrenders of people that did receive pets," says Galloway.
So she suggests that the owner meet the pet before you adopt to make sure there is a good connection between the two.
If the animal is not a good fit in the home, she says at this point it is okay to surrender the animal to a local humane society.
"It's not always going to work. Then you need to reach out to your local humane society and make the decision that's going to be the best thing for that pet. Be careful re-homing on your own because there's some 'not so nice' people out there."
If you think you are ready to take the plunge and adopt a pet, Gulf Coast Humane Society will be open every day through Christmas Eve from noon to 5 p.m.