The Nova Scotia SPCA, along with other shelters across the country, say adopting a pet as a Christmas gift is now perfectly ok.
Heather Woodin, the provincial director of programs for the Nova Scotia SPCA, says their shelter has launched a campaign to encourage people to adopt a pet for the holidays.
“There was always this fear that animals given over the holidays or adopted over the holidays weren’t going to be treated well, were going to be returned.” she said.
But Woodin says recent data show that people who adopt a pet from the shelter at Christmas tend to keep them.
“We don’t see an increase in the animals coming into our care if they were adopted over the holidays, so there is just nothing to support that belief that has been repeated over and over for many years,” she said.
Bethany Lane runs Fulfilling Hearts Rescue in Moncton and supports Christmas adoptions if everyone in the family is on board and ready to take on the responsibility.
“I don’t think it should be an impulsive decision. I don’t think it should be something where the dog is a gift under the tree because the novelty could wear off in a few weeks,” she said.
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That is why some rescues, such as Cat Rescue Maritimes, maintain their policy of not allowing adoptions at Christmas.
Lane says says the sad and surprising reality is that she actually sees a drastic spike in the number of pets surrendered, not after, but before Christmas.
“I think where it is so busy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, people do not focus on walking the dog or dog training and things like that and dogs tend to act out and it causes behavioral issues and they choose to surrender,” she said.