The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

December 19, 2013

Study backs pets as presents, but holdouts still remain

(Continued)

The shelter manager of the Beacon Rescue Animal Shelter in Ocean View, N.J., says there’s too much stimulation on Christmas morning for families’ new furry friends.

“The first 48 hours with a new pet are crucial,” David Haines said. “You don’t want overstimulation. So much is going on. ... I tell people no wild parties, just the family.”

But Joan Adams of Niagara Falls, N.Y., says the holiday season is a great time for adoptions. She got her dog Bella last Dec. 22. She suggested adoptions can help alleviate the Christmastime boost in depression.

“Dogs or cats or whatever the animal require your attention, so you don’t concentrate on yourself so much. You concentrate on the animal. It gets people through the holidays and all the days after,” Adams said.

Shelters across the country will deliver pet presents on Christmas Day, but they require someone living in the same house to give the gift.

The SPCA serving Erie County in Buffalo, N.Y., will have 20 volunteers deliver pets to 20 homes as part of their “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” special.

That’s a change for the shelter. For years, it closed for 10 days before Christmas to avoid people giving pets as presents. With no dogs going out and the usual numbers coming in, the shelter became overcrowded and many animals got sick, spokeswoman Gina Browning said. The shelter tried reducing the closure to seven days, but there was little improvement.

This year, shelter employees will place as many animals as possible as part of its Christmas special. There is a $100 fee for the special delivery, in addition to adoption expenses, Browning said.

At the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, this will be the third year of holiday deliveries. People can sign up until Dec. 23, and the shelter will hold and care for the animal and deliver it on Christmas Day for a $25 fee, executive director Dan Rossi said.

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