Animal Care Services preparing for return of pets given as holiday gifts

Pet returns increase after holiday

SAN ANTONIO – Like many retailers, Animal Care Services is preparing for its annual holiday return. In December, pet adoptions increase as people give a cat or dog as a gift to someone.

This month alone, more than 800 animals were adopted.

However, not everyone who receives a furry friend is ready for the responsibility. It is a situation that ACS said they understand.

"ACS acknowledges that sometimes that cute little surprise puppy under the tree isn't going to work out in the long run,” Eddie Gonzales, with animal intake, said. “But if that's the case, don't just release the dog.  Just bring it back."

On Thursday, the animal center took in Tobin, a skinny, hungry and scared dog with the hopes that she was microchipped.

"Mostly it's a lot of scared dogs that are getting out. We are hearing a lot of fireworks popping off in neighborhoods so we are finding a lot of dogs with microchips,” Gonzales said.

However, there was no chip in Tobin. The goal, of course, is to make sure she is not in the shelter for long. ACS offers free training for animals, so they can be the best fit possible for a family that adopts them, but if that is not the case, Gonzales said, “If it's just not a good fit, doesn't get along with the other pets or something like that, we will work with the individual to take the animal back or find another animal that may be a better fit for their family."

While the number of adoptions rise in December, so too does the number of runaways. With many people hosting family, parties and fireworks there are more opportunities for pets to escape. ACS posts pets that are picked up on its website and people can check to see if their four-legged friend has run away.