A Pet for Christmas

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There are a few things to keep in mind before giving someone a pet for the holidays.

We've entered the home stretch and shoppers are pounding the pavement, dashing through stores, trying to find that perfect Christmas gift, but maybe that gift is waiting for you at Winnebago County Animal Services wagging its tail and starring at you with its loving eyes?

"We certainly encourage people to give animals as a gift, but don't make decisions too quickly. Perhaps a gift certificate or a nice card letting them know that after the holidays you'll go with them to Animal Services to select a pet," says Winnebago County Animal Services director Gary Longanecker.

Longanecker says there's a lot of factors to keep in mind when adopting a pet; the size of the family, how often they're home, the needs of the animal, so adopting a pet well-meaning, well-intentioned, but it's difficult to buy something that personal and that meaningful without their input," says Longanecker.

Longanecker says once the hustle and bustle of the holiday season subsides, a family might realize that their new cat or dog isn't the perfect match.

"Animals need to be returned, and it's very traumatic for animal and difficult for the family," says Longanecker.

So giving a gift certificate for pet adoption is probably the best way to go, that way the decision is less impulsive and a family can carefully consider the little canine or feline needs before bringing him into the home.

It costs $110 to adopt a dog and $85 to adopt a cat.

Animal Services will be closed December 24 through December 26 for the Christmas holiday.