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The pros and cons of adopting a pet during the holidays

Rescue workers say it might be better to wait until after the holidays are over to make sure you know what you are signing up for.

STROUD TOWNSHIP, PA — At AWSOM Animal Shelter near Stroudsburg, rescue workers say they are always busy this time of year with adoptions. But they say they are usually even busier by early spring with families bringing pets back, something they never want to see.  

"Holidays, even with Easter, you get that with Easter bunnies and chicks, same thing for Christmas. Everyone thinks a puppy or a kitten is a good idea. A lot of people don't realize the work that goes into a kitten or that goes into a puppy, and they're cute until they get back," explained Sandra Fellin, president of AWSOM Animal Shelter.

Rescue workers say when animals are given as gifts, they are more likely to be returned. Surprising someone with a new pet means they have not properly met the animal yet, which might not be a good idea. But rescue workers here say even if you do decide it is time for a family pet, to wait until the craziness of the holidays is over.

"Everything is so hectic. You have relatives, or you have people coming in and out, or you're gone for longer periods of time. That's really not the best time to do that," said Fellin. "You'll want really a more quiet time, so if you're looking for a pet, maybe put a picture in an envelope and say 'we'll get you a pet' but over the holidays, wait until after the new year, things calm down; it's a much better time."

Rescue workers say if you are ready and the time is right, the way to go is to adopt, not shop.

"So many dogs in so many shelters across the country, at the end of every week just don't see their tomorrows. There's so many out there, wonderful dogs. You've seen, and you post all the time, that just want a second chance and just want a forever home. A lot of people think they're broken. They're not broken; humans let them down. It's humans fault, not theirs," Fellin explained.

You can meet just one of the many dogs up for adoption at AWSOM Animal Shelter this Friday on 16 To The Rescue. 

AWSOM is open every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only. 

Check out WNEP’s YouTube page.   

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