Stop and think before giving a pet as a holiday gift, experts say

12/4/2012 | Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), The

While a puppy or kitten under the Christmas tree may seem like the quintessential holiday gift, experts warn that pets given as gifts don't always have a happy ending. Veterinarian Mollie Hurley advises against surprising people with animals as gifts, as they may not be prepared for the commitment. Animal shelter educator Deeann Schaefer notes that recipients of pets may not be financially or emotionally prepared for the responsibilities and often end up surrendering those animals to already overburdened shelters.

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Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), The

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