Moberly canine rescue encourages caution when giving pets as presents

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MOBERLY – A Christmas present that barks or meows can be a special holiday memory, but many animals adopted as a gift end up returned to the shelter.

“People get a dog as a 12-week old puppy, and it’s just the cutest little ball of fur in the world. Then, they learn that puppies chew, puppies pee, puppies don’t have manners and all of a sudden the dog is too much for them,” said Jim Whiting, Foster Coordinator for Saving Dogs 4 Paws At a Time Rescue

Whiting coordinates the shelter in Moberly, which rescues dogs and assigns them to foster families.

There are many instances from shelters around the country where the number of dogs in shelters increase after the holidays because people receive pets they did not expect, Whiting said.

“All of a sudden a dog becomes a burden to them, and this four or five-month-dog is brought to a shelter,” Whiting said.

Returning a dog to a shelter can take a large emotional toll on the animal, according to Whiting.

“I equate a lot of dog behavior the same way I equate human behavior,” he said. “They have feelings, the have emotions, they know when they aren’t wanted, they know when they’re being pushed out of the house just like you and I would.”

Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelter nationwide every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

So far in 2018, 1405 dogs have been taken into shelters by the Central Missouri Humane Society, according to their website.

Despite the spikes of returns close to the holidays, Whiting says potential dog owners should always make sure they are prepared before adopting.

“It is a year-round problem. There isn’t a season for dumping dogs,” Whiting said.