HHHS asks Topekans to “paws” before adopting for the holidays

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With the season of giving here, you may consider gifting a furry friend for your loved one.

While many people dream of a puppy or kitten for Christmas, Emi Griess with Helping Hands Humane Society said there are several things to keep in mind to ensure the pet’s home for the holidays is a permanent one.

“Especially for first-time pet owners, they may just not know what’s involved like the cost and the amount of time of having a new pet,” she said.

“Think beyond Christmas and what’s going to happen once Christmas is over and really for the entire duration of that animal’s life, because as we know dogs and cats can live 10, 20 years, sometimes pocket pets maybe a little shorter but it is going to be the whole duration of that pet’s life.”

Griess said meeting the new family member before it comes home will help both the pet and the new owner.

“If you want to make it a surprise, maybe you want to wrap a collar or a card that says ‘hey, we’re going to get a family pet’ so that everyone can come in and meet,” she said.

“It is really important that a cat or dog is good around kids and can handle the energy level and how your child wants to interact with that animal.”

Griess said the pet you go home with could be one that is unexpected.

“Maybe a little bit of research into what kind of pet you want in the first place, you may think you only like dogs and are a dog person but there are actually a lot of cats with friendly personalities that are similar to dogs but are less upkeep,” she said.

“People love puppies, puppies are adorable, fun and cute but they are a lot of work and they’re gonna have a lot of accidents, need potty training and have a lot of energy; sometimes you might not consider a senior pet but they could actually be the personality you’re looking for, a short walk a day and a couch potato to hang out with.”

She said thinking ahead is key to making sure your holiday gift stays a member of the family all year round.

“We don’t want pets going in and out of the shelter because it can be stressful and overwhelming for them,” she said.

“They have already been there the first time so they may get a little stressed out thinking ‘oh no am I gonna be here is as long as I was last time’ so that’s why we work hard to make sure it will be a great fit that will last long term.”

Griess also said consider your schedule because pets need time and attention to adjust so if there’s a lot of hectic activity or you won’t be home much, you might consider waiting until after the holidays.

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