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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Animal shelters brace for post-holiday surrenders

Animal shelters brace for post-holiday surrenders

Local animal shelters are getting ready for the coming string of pet surrenders as people begin realizing that their furry Christmas presents involve a lot more commitment than they want.

At the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter, the number of surrenders compared to before the holidays increases, said shelter manager Hilary Detillier.

“Right now we’re seeing a lower number of intakes, but that number will probably go back up once January comes around. That’s something we just have to prepare for and be ready for when it happens,” Detillier said.

The Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter expects 12-15 percent of the surrenders for the year in January and February. Surrenders over the past four years during those months averaged 176.

“While we do receive animals surrendered by their owners after the holidays, we can’t conclude that the reasons stem from impulsive holiday acquisitions. At the Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter, we strive to place animals in permanent homes year-round, which includes the holiday season. We do our very best to match people with the pets that fit the criteria/lifestyle of the family,” shelter manager Valerie Robinson said.

Robinson and Detillier have advice for those wanting to give an animal as a gift.

First, consider the environment the animal would be living in and the lifestyle and schedule of the new owners. Also, young animals’ personalities change as they grow, so adopting older animals may be better as the new owners will know the pets’ personality and demeanor.

Remember that a pet is a commitment for its entire life, not just a toy that can be forgotten or thrown away.

“I just want the public to think about the long-term job of keeping a pet beyond Christmas. They’re going to need continued vet care, continued training and will have other needs. Though we are super happy that people are adopting right now, we hope that they’re thinking about this long term,” Detillier said.

-- Staff Writer Dan Boudreaux can be reached at 857-2204 or Follow him on Twitter @dan_boudreaux.