It's what so many kids are hoping for, a cute puppy or kitty under the Christmas tree, but buyers beware; the dream gift could turn into a nightmare for both the owner and the pet.
"I hate when animals get brought to the pound after being a gift to someone. I've actually seen it happen. My neighbors, their son bought him and then couldn't take care of him," said college student Megan Bazylack.
That's why Bazylack planned for three months before she adopted "Lexi."
"It was very important for me to research and wait until I got my own place and I have a fence so she could run and be happy," she said, stroking the back of her six-month-old pup.
But many others don't plan and end up receiving a puppy or kitten as an unexpected holiday gift.
"Surprise gifts of an animal are never good gifts, the person's not prepared for the responsibility and the care, long-term commitment to a pet, and those are the ones that end up getting returned or go somewhere a couple months down the road," said Barbara Hatch with the Leon County Humane Society.
The Leon County Humane Society says it sees this all the time. It suggests skipping the surprise and talking it out to find out if the potential owner is ready to devote the time and dedication. If not, it could be a "ruff" life for everyone involved.
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