Dickson County Humane Society prepares to welcome unwanted animals given as Christmas gifts

DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Every year, thousands of puppies and kittens end up in shelters as unwanted Christmas gifts, which is why the Humane Society of Dickson County is urging people to think twice before giving someone a furry friend as a gift.

“A lot of people want to surprise their kids or their parents or someone they love with a puppy or a kitten,” said Vivienne Akhdary, executive director of the Humane Society of Dickson County. “It seems like such a wonderful idea and everyone is so happy, until a month or two after the holidays.”

This is when human society would have seen an influx of animals as some families change their minds about their holiday gifts.

“So what happens is that between the six months after Christmas we get inundated, and every shelter does, with animals that were given as wonderful gifts and everyone was so happy, and then reality sets in and they come back,” Akhdary explained.

Akhdary, Humane Society contributions for dogs and cats are already on the rise, even before the giveaways begin.

Meanwhile, the organization is preparing for 75 animals to be returned as unwanted Christmas gifts.

“The reality of caring for this kitten or caring for this puppy comes into play because it’s not just a cute little thing that you can put aside,” Akhdary said. “It takes practice, it takes work to make a dog or cat comfortable and happy and a good member of your family.”

Akhdary said she doesn’t want to discourage anyone from getting a pet, but encourages people to come prepared and know what they’re getting into before making a decision.

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“It’s just doing your research. Make a wise decision about what you do,” said the Humane Society’s chief executive. “You’re talking about a 10 to 15 year commitment to something if you do it right.”

If you can handle the long-term commitment, officials at the Humane Society of Dickson County encourage people to adopt. However, they are always looking for people interested in fostering, volunteering and/or donating. You can find out more by following this link.

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