Dear Porky and Buddy,
I called one of the local cat rescue organizations to inquire about adopting a cat for my kids for the holidays and was told they don’t allow adoptions as gifts. They also will not approve any adoption to take place for the two weeks before Christmas. Well sure, I understand that you would not wrap a pet up and mail it somewhere, but this cat would be coming to my house with me and my kids and it’s just us at Christmas time so that is a great time for us to bring in a new pet. What could be wrong with that?
Nothing. Pet adoption is plagued with myths about what makes a successful adoption and this in one of the old longstanding ones.
It used to be common practice and the end result was that people who wanted to bring in a new pet for a loved one around the holidays (including, by the way, Valentine’s Day) ended up having to go to a pet store (and ending up with a puppy mill dog) or taking the risk of a “free to good home” pet or maybe a backyard breeder.
Finally, a few years ago shelters and other organizations began to question the wisdom of these practices and comparing statistics about pet returns or relinquishment. They discovered that there was just no difference. In fact, some organizations discovered that pets given as gifts were less likely to be relinquished later than pets acquired in other ways!
There are some precautions of course.
Organizations have policies in place that make sure that a pet given as a gift is not a total and unwelcome surprise, and that the pet’s new home is a happy and safe place.
They encourage holiday time adopters to plan carefully (as always) for their new friend’s arrival at a time that is not chaotic or filled with strangers, and when there will be time for everyone to adjust. And they go through their standard adoption policies and procedures just like an adoption at any other time.
Given those sensible precautions, we agree with you. What could be better than a new pet for a family at a time of the year that is filled with so much cheer and good feelings? Good for the pet and good for the family.
On that note, we invite you come to the Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Celebration on November 23 from noon to 3 p.m. at the YMCA/Armory at 265 W. First St., Oswego.
Lots of pets for adoption, activities for kids, photos with Santa, a huge used book sale, Holiday bake sale, art and crafts sale, and find out more about Oswego County animal organizations.
Or go to www.oswegohumane.org to see all our pets available for adoption.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Phone (315) 207-1070.