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Pets as Gifts

Not much compares to the joy a pet can bring to your life—and what better time to add a little more snuggle to your home than during the holiday season, right? For many, the answer is yes. With the kids home on holiday break and extra days off work, it can be a great time to transition a new pet into your life. For some, however, the holidays may be filled with travel, house guests and maybe just a little too much hustle and bustle, creating a more stressful time to invite a new feline or canine companion into your home.

While it varies from family to family regarding the right time to adopt, one thing we can say with confidence is that pets don’t make great gifts. Now, that’s not to say you can’t still surprise your loved one with a new furry friend, but perhaps it shouldn’t be the actual animal itself that’s the surprise. Here’s why:

  • Pets have their own unique preferences, just like people. Some prefer being in a quiet home without children, while others thrive with active families. We always want to make sure the fit is right for both the person and the pet.
  • A surprise pet may not be the best idea if the recipient—whether it’s an older parent, significant other or child—is not ready or willing to take on the commitment of owning and caring for a pet throughout its lifetime.
  • Half the fun of adopting is coming to the shelter, together, and selecting the perfect pet. Walking through the kennels and meeting different animals is a vital part of the experience and will create memories that can be shared for a lifetime.

If you’re set on giving the gift of a new pet for the holidays, we have some suggestions on how you can still surprise your loved one without actually having them open the infamous “box with an adorable puppy inside” on Christmas morning.

Stop by the Dumb Friends League Sit…Stay…Shop at our Quebec Street Shelter in Denver or Buddy Center in Castle Rock, and buy a gift card that can be put towards an adoption. While you’re there, you can buy pet supplies, toys and goodies to create a really fun and exciting gift for your loved one to open. Other gift options include making a donation to the Dumb Friends League in honor of a special person or pet, or purchasing the Dumb Friends League 2017 pet photo calendar. These gifts are sure to brighten your loved one’s day with the added bonus of helping homeless pets in need!

When looking to add a new pet to your family, we encourage you to choose the adoption option. Visit our Quebec Street Shelter or Buddy Center, or go online at to see all the incredible pets waiting to meet their new families. All adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip ID and a free wellness visit to a participating veterinarian within 14 days of adoption.

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Joan Thielen

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