‘Pets aren’t Christmas presents, they’re a family member’: Shelters worry about holiday returns


Almost three,000 animals had been adopted from SpokAnimal in 2020, with many being presents for the vacations.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash — Over 6.5 million pets are deserted yearly, which is why Spokane’s SpokAnimal is cautious about adopting close to Christmas.

Animal advocates say shocking family members with pets for the vacations will not be a nice thought.

“Pets are not Christmas presents, they’re forever,” SpokAnimal Executive Director Dori Peck stated. “They’re a family member.”

The shelter is among the bigger animal rescues shelters within the space. In 2020, they’d the very best quantity of cat adoptions ever, Peck stated.   

“COVID kind of switched everything up right with our years so nothing really was the same in 2020 as it had been in previous years,” she added. “People really needed that love, they needed that companionship.” 

That is each a good and unhealthy factor. 

More adoptions imply extra animals discovering properties, however it may additionally imply that the shelter will get extra returns. The largest causes individuals give up is as a result of animal not being a good match, different pets or kids do not get together with them, or the adopter realizes they made a mistake.

Luckily, that has not been a problem to this point for them.

“We haven’t had anybody returned yet and everybody seems to be doing great,” she stated. “It really does happen and we know that in four or five months it just does.”

Although its solely been a week, not a single animal was introduced again. Kittens and puppies are sometimes not given again to shelters till they begin to develop considerably. 

In 2019, the shelter had three,071 adoptions. 114 had been returned and readopted by different people. 

The shelter is optimistic that much less animals might be given again this 12 months resulting from extra individuals staying at house as a result of pandemic.

“We really try to work with people, especially during the holidays as far as making intelligent decisions, not just the emotional part of the decision,” she added. “Of course you fall in love when you see them and so we always tell people to sleep on it and think about it.”

If somebody nonetheless desires to reward a pet to a buddy, ensure that they’ve particularly talked about wanting an animal and accomplished their very own analysis on what sort of assets the pet would require.

“Really consider are you going to need this duty in two months, 4 months, 10 years?” Peck stated. “They are living and so you want to make sure that it’s right for you and not everyone is right for everyone.” 

SpokAnimal is in a transitional section proper now to be a majority cat shelter. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the shelter needed to worry about one individual managing all of the canine and cats. Peck says they may nonetheless take proprietor surrendered canine, however they are going to be focusing extra on cats and kittens any longer. 



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