Yes, we’ve talked before about why you should pretty much never give a pet as a holiday gift. But if you’re someone who’s looking to adopt — and more importantly, completely ready to welcome a furry friend into your home — the holidays can actually be a great time to take that step.
According to Kelly DiCicco, manager of adoptions and promotions at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City, more than 6.5 million animals enter shelters every year nationwide, with numbers of available animals at various facilities fluctuating depending on the time of year.
“It’s always a good time to adopt,” DiCicco says. “But if you are adopting a pet at the holidays, be sure you do it responsibly. If the recipient of the pet is under 12, a parent should be ready and eager to assume care. Or another good option is going to the shelter together to help kids learn about the adoption process.”
RELATED VIDEO: 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Give a Pet as a Present
Before taking the leap, DiCicco recommends taking a look at your lifestyle. “How much time do you spend at home? What is your activity level, and the level of activity in your house? Be honest with yourself about what might be a good match.’
“Shelter staff are usually really great in working with you about a pet that might be good for your lifestyle, especially around the holidays when people are so busy,” she adds. “And one piece of advice we like to give is to keep an open mind and heart when adopting. You might walk in and fall in love with someone you didn’t expect.”