Local shelter discusses post-holiday pet surrenders
BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — The time after the holidays usually consists of exchanging and returning gifts.
However, there’s one gift that usually sees a high amount of returns.
Sometimes people get pets for Christmas, then decide they’re not able to care for them properly.
“When you adopt, you’re adopting for life, even when they’re seniors,” animal control officer Tiffany Locke said.
Before you pick up that new pet for Christmas for yourself, a child, or another loved one, think about it first.
“We’ve had an intake of 35% in the past week. We’ve picked up 14 dogs. People are either replacing the old senior dogs with new puppies, or just dumping older dogs period,” animal control officer and supervisor Cari Vanetter said.
It’s just a few days after Christmas, and workers at the Brownsville-Haywood County Animal Shelter are seeing a slow uptick in animal surrenders.
It’s a problem they say happens every year after Christmas, and that the most common pet surrenders are dogs. These surrenders happen for a variety of reasons.
“They’re going to surrender them because they chewed up their new Gucci bag, or their high heels, or pooped on their brand new carpet. Just don’t give pets for Christmas. It doesn’t work out,” Vanetter said.
“Do your research before you adopt or buy, or whatever you’ll do to get an animal for Christmas,” Locke said.
Vanetter and Locke agree that the process of surrendering pets back to the shelter can be a traumatic experience for the animals.
“The animals have to go through another decompression stage,” Vanetter said. “They have to start all over not knowing what they’re supposed to be doing, how they’re supposed to be doing it, and where they’re supposed to be doing it.”
Vanetter says if you do want to give a pet as a gift, make sure the person knows, and is willing to make a commitment for years to come, not just for a few days.