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Use caution when giving pets as presents

All About Animals
Friday, December 2, 2011 - 11:43am

Dogs, cats and pets of all types are expected to pop up from beneath the Christmas tree, so, again this year there are a few words of caution from pet experts.

"This is like adding a child to a young family because it's going to take a responsibility, especially if you get a puppy that's full of energy," warns Rich Avanzino, president of "Maddie's Fund", a foundation focused on saving shelter dogs and cats.

"They require food, veterinary care and it's a responsibility, it's a wonderful responsibility but a responsibility none the less," adds Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle.

Both are out advocating animal shelters as the best and most economical place to find pets to give at Christmas.

"Go to a place where there's an opportunity to save a life and get a great companion at a great lower cost," Pacelle says.

It's also important to note that around the holidays the hazards for household pets grow like mistletoe.

"If you are bringing an animal into the house, you want to make sure it's pet-proof so that the animal doesn't go after the Christmas Tree, doesn't go after the poinsettias, it doesn't get into the rock candy laying all over the house," Avanzino says.

Mistletoe can be severely toxic to any pet that eats it.
 

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