Pets as gifts? Arizona Humane Society says it may be a good idea - FOX 10 News |

Pets as gifts? Arizona Humane Society says it may be a good idea

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A debate has raged in the animal welfare community over a heated issue: Should you give pets as gifts? One agency has changed its position and says giving pets as gifts may be a pretty good idea.

For years, the Arizona Humane Society and other animal welfare groups discouraged families from giving pets as gifts.

"In the past, the Arizona Humane Society really followed along in the thought that pets as gifts was not a good idea due to the belief that those pets would get turned back in to the shelter," said AHS' Bretta Nelson.

Now, a change of heart.  AHS no longer puts restrictions on pet gift giving.

A new ASPCA study shows 86 percent of pets that were given as presents are still in those homes today.

"The Arizona Humane Society has really changed our way of thinking in honor of these brown eyes that stare at us every day that giving a pet as a gift maybe isn't such a bad idea," said Nelson.

A willingness to care for an animal makes the biggest difference.

"Times have been really hard and I asked what would be the one really big thing she would want for Christmas and she said toys and nothing else would matter, she just wants another dog.. she wants to save them, she doesn't want anything to happen to them," said Nicole Dionne.

Half of all animals brought to valley shelters are euthanized.  The agency says if you're gifting a pet, you have to make sure the new owner has the time and resources to care for the animal before it joins the family.

Some agencies are still on the fence about the issue.  There's another move you can make if you're not sure.  AHS has a gift card option called the Critter Card.

Arizona Humane Society
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