Those who think a puppy or kitten might make the perfect Christmas present for their animal-loving family member or friend might want to pause to consider the idea, the Cayman Islands Humane Society advises.
Every year around the holidays there is a rush of adoptions of young pets. However, people often aren’t ready for the commitment of caring for an animal, or they tire of them as they get bigger, and the adopted pets wind up back in the shelter after a few months, according to shelter manager Jason Jairam.
Mr. Jairam said people should be aware that caring for a puppy or kitten is a serious and time-consuming responsibility.
“A young puppy or kitten is like having a kid,” Mr. Jairam said.
In the past, the Humane Society has prohibited people from adopting puppies and kittens around Christmas time. While there is no official policy in place, and Mr. Jairam said the shelter considers each potential adopter on a case-by-case basis, those who are looking to adopt are urged to come back after Christmas.
Adopting an animal is not as simple as walking into the shelter and walking out with a pet. The Humane Society does home inspections and interviews with potential adopters. If the person has been a pet owner previously, the shelter asks for a veterinarian’s reference.
“We take a lot of things into consideration if someone comes in and wants an animal,” Mr. Jairam said. “Our job is to make sure they get a safe and loving home.”
The Humane Society also encourages those looking to adopt to consider older dogs.
“A big dog is already house trained,” Mr. Jairam said. “It’s less stress. It’s way less work than taking a puppy.”
There are plenty of older dogs to choose from at the shelter, which Mr. Jairam said is currently very overcrowded. While there are a few puppies, there are 70 older dogs in need of forever homes.
Shelter operations supervisor Letty Blanco said she can help individuals find the pet that fits their personality and lifestyle. She said people looking to adopt can simply describe the kind of animal they want, and she can help find the perfect match.
Mr. Jairam said all of the dogs at the shelter are friendly, and they go to training every Sunday. The adoption fee includes the cost of spaying or neutering, and immunizations for one year.