“I wouldn't want someone buying a purse for me much less a pet,” Bauer said. “Everyone's taste is different. If five people walked in to our shelter, they would probably each pick a different pet. Everyone likes different things. We like for the whole family to meet an animal that is being considered for adoption, that way it bonds with the entire family first.”
If someone does receive a pet as a Christmas gift that doesn't work out, English advises looking to family and friends first when seeking out new homes.
“Family and friends are always the best places to start,” English said. “I don't advise anyone to give a dog away to someone on the Internet because you just can't trust that it's getting a good home. If that doesn't work, find a rescue group or a shelter. Ask the shelter what their plans are for the animal. Not all shelters euthanize but some do.”