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A dog is a lifelong commitment, not a holiday present



Jacksonville, Arkansas – When considering adopting an animal as a Christmas gift, the local animal shelter is urging the community to give it serious consideration.

Although that is not always the case, some animals adopted into families stay with them, according to Jamie Parker, supervisor of the Jacksonville Animal Shelter.

“Some of them get adopted and they stay,” said Parker. “But a lot of them end up coming back to us, and a lot of them find themselves back in the kennel with no one that can play with them all day.”

According to Parker, one reason they are sent back is that the animal has not yet received training.

“The kids are tired of the puppy, and the parents don’t want to take over the puppy, getting it potty-trained or kennel-trained, so they bring them back,” said Parker.

As a result, according to Parker, their shelter may become more crowded.

“If we get one adopted out then that gives us room for another one of the strays to come in,” said Parker. “If we adopt our three or four then we have room to bring them in. When they turn around and bring them back, we are super overcrowded.”

Linda DeBerry, Senior Specialist for Strategic Communications at Best Friends Foundation, outlined things to look for when considering a new pet.

“The best thing to do is look at what your family is interested in and think about what your lifestyle is,” said DeBerry. “If you’re running seven miles every morning, you’re going to want a dog that has got a lot of stamina and wants to go with you.”

A new animal is a greater issue than some people may realize, according to Parker.

“Getting a puppy or a dog is a lifetime commitment,” said Parker. “It is not a Christmas present. If you get a puppy, you need to look into the long haul.”

Parker claimed that their sanctuary collaborates with Jacksonville’s Leashes and Lashes Training Facility.

You can receive four weeks of training for free if you adopt an animal from the Jacksonville Animal Shelter.

The American Kennel Club advises checking that your children can perform age-appropriate chores, show enthusiasm in caring for a pet, and comprehend what is necessary for an animal to survive before you get a family pet.