Fighting like cats and dogs: the debate over holiday pet adoptions
COLUMBIA – For Rufus, an eight-year-old Labrador mix, the debate between giving an animal as a holiday gift could mean the difference between spending his holidays in the local shelter or in the lap of his new owner.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) announced Thursday it recommends pet owners hold off on buying animals during the holiday season. Regional Director Sean Spence said the recommendation is made in the interest of the animals.
“So often people want to give a cute, cuddly, little puppy for a Christmas gift and then they find out that it’s an awful lot of trouble. Generally, the Better Business Bureau recommends against giving a puppy as a gift for the holidays because there is just so much other stuff going on. You have to deal with visitors and food and cooking and all the celebrations and you really need to pay attention to the dog,” Spence said.
But not everyone agrees with the BBB. Michelle Casey, Assistant Director of the Central Missouri Humane Society, said she believes the holidays are a good time to adopt.
“We would always advocate for adoption if you are looking to add a new member to your family. We would always suggest going to your local shelter, talking to the staff members and finding the right one for you. There are so many animals in shelters across the country that need homes and there are so many great animals in shelters so I definitely encourage you to visit your local shelter and help an animal in need,” Casey said.
According to Spence and the BBB, Missouri is the nation's largest dog breeding state, an issue that goes back to 2010.
“Missouri has more puppy mills than any other state in the country, so we actually have a larger problem than many states. You really need to be careful where you get your puppy. You should go to a place that is reputable, that really takes good care of the pets, make sure they don’t overbreed them. It’s important to be very caution when making that purchase,” Spence said.
The BBB also recommends checking for proper credentials and getting receipts for any deposits put down on an animal.