Animal shelters in the Ozarks warn of giving pets as gifts

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 4:21 PM CST
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OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (KY3) - A pet can be a great Christmas present for someone. Dogwood Animal Shelter in Osage Beach warns it may not be perfect for everyone.

“I don’t think there’s a bad time to get a pet, ”said Ellen Keen, Executive Director and Shelter Manager of Dogwood Animal Shelter.

She says it is important for an animal to bond with an owner.

”I think animals and people bond, and I think when you come to get a pet for another individual, sometimes you’re the one that bonds with them, you’re choosing that animal, because you have felt some connection,” said Keen.

A better idea would be getting a git certificate.

”I think what is better is to get a gift certificate for the adoption fee, and present that and say, you know, we’ve chosen you to look for a pet,” said Keen.

It goes the same for kids, if you want to bring a pet into your family make sure the kids bond with the animal.

”Maybe the child is fearful of a particular animal. So that’s not a win-win situation. So we encourage parents to bring their children to see the animal to see if they get along. You get all different kinds of personalities from animals, not just people. So you know, we may have a hyper dog, that the parents want to take home to a very calm, withdrawn child, and that doesn’t necessarily work,” said Keen.

Having a pet isn’t just a short responsibility, it is a lifetime commitment.

”Animals usually live to be, if there’s a cat or a dog between 15 and 20 years. When you know you’re going to adopt an animal, you need to the best you can plan on having that animal for that length of time,” said Keen.

Pets can be a financial responsibility too.

“You have to be able to provide food, shelter, medication. Even if you don’t have a sick animal, there’s medication you need to give them so that they don’t get sick, including flea medication, especially here in Missouri, worm medication,” said Keen.

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