“They’ll be very surprised and pleased,” new pet owner, Paul Spear said.
Don’t tell Paul Spear’s children, but they’re getting a cat for Christmas.
“When I was ten, I received my most memorable gift as a child. It was a cat that my parents surprised me with, so I wanted to return that to my family,” Spear said.
There’s nothing that brightens up a child’s eyes on Christmas morning more than a pet under the tree, but before you make the commitment, make sure the whole family is aware of the responsibility.
“My wife knows about it, but she wants to be surprised as well on Christmas day, so she said she doesn’t want to see it,” Spear said.
“Based on our experience here, I would caution people that if you’re going to give pets as gifts, make sure that the person who is receiving the gift is prepared for the responsibility,” Executive Director of the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA, Tom Geroy said.
According to the Chemung County SPCA, adoption rates increase during the holidays and surrender rates increase in January. Caring for an animal can be a major responsibility between grooming, vet care, and providing the proper nutrition and exercise.
“Especially if you’re getting puppies or kittens, they’re going to be very, very active and some people don’t realize how active they’re going to be. If they don’t get what they need from a behavioral perspective, they can become destructive. And that’s quite often why we see pets surrendered,” Geroy said.
As long as everyone’s on the same page, a pet can be an ideal gift.
“The phone has been ringing, we’ve been having messages on Facebook and we had people stop in before we even opened,” Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA Customer Service Supervisor, Erynn Brucie said.
People like Laurie Mills and her husband stopped in. They made the decision together to get Laurie her new dog, Chloe, for the holiday.
“I’m so excited. It’s going to be the best Christmas,” Laurie Mills said.