New research says it's OK to give pets as gifts - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

New research says it's OK to give pets as gifts

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's been a long-term debate within the animal community - should pets be given as gifts?

"Based on the number of homeless pets in our community, this is just another outlet for those pets to be adopted," said Bretta Nelson with the Arizona Humane Society (AHS).

The belief has always been that pets given as gifts were more likely to be returned to shelters.

"Recent research done by the ASPCA says that notion is incorrect," Nelson said.

According to the Arizona Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) study, 96 percent of people who received pets as gifts say it had no impact on their attachment to the animal.  And 86 percent of those pets are still in their homes today.

"I gave my daughter a dog on two separate occasions, and she grew up fantastic, now she wants to become a vet, so I guess it worked out for her," said pet owner Maurice Goyette.

"I think it's going to take a while for people - even internally, we had to really look at the study and think about things, but our commitment is to get all these homeless animals into their forever homes," said Nelson.

Roughly 90,000 animals enter Valley shelters every year.  AHS said they'd rather see them given as gifts than potentially having to put them down.

"Don't get us wrong, there are still considerations.  Our thought is that when a person is thinking about getting a pet as a gift, or just getting a pet, they've thought about it long and hard," added Nelson.

AHS said that although it's a busy time of year, it can be a great time to consider a pet because with parents off from work and kids out of school - everyone has more time to bond.

AHS will open on Tuesday, Christmas Eve, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for pet adoptions.

For more information on the Arizona Humane Society, CLICK HERE.

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