A cute puppy or kitten under the Christmas tree may be a thoughtful and cute gift idea, but if the recipient isn't ready for a pet, the cute gift could become a burden.
Coos County Animal Shelter Director Connie Prince tells KCBY that one of the missions of the shelter is to prevent a high rate of return among pets being adopted.
When a pet is adopted from an organization and then returned or given to a shelter, the return rate increases and often leads to full animal shelters.
Prince said if you come to the shelter, you will be evaluated on whether you are actually able to own a pet in addition to your willingness to adopt one.
"Obviously if you come out, that's one sign telling us you are ready to be a pet owner, and we just kind of get a feel for the people," Prince said. "We ask why do you want the pet, what is your living arrangement, and so we do our own self-screen because we do not want a high rate return rate."
She said in addition to people looking for good pets, pets need 'good humans'. That means if you are not capable of taking care of a certain breed of dog, you probably should consider adopting a different kind of breed or reconsider whether you can take care of a pet right now.
"If you live in an apartment with no yard, maybe a Jack Rusell or a Border Collie isn't the best for your situation," she said.
Prince said if you are thinking of giving a pet as a gift, you should give a gift certificate to the local animal shelter or a pet shop.
"That will give the person the opportunity to make a connection with a pet instead of just having an animal presented to them as a gift," she said.
Prince said shelter pets are just as good as pets you would get from a store or a breeder, and often times, the adoption price is cheaper too.
If you can not adopt a pet, or you already have some and want to help the shelter out, Prince said the shelter needs volunteers, dog collars and is running extremely low on flea prevention medicine.