The Best Places to Sit, Stay + Play with Your Pooch

Pets as Gifts…yes or no?

‘Tis the season when we are inundated by images of bow-bedecked puppies and kitten-stuffed stockings. So, it’s not surprising that many families bring pets home for the holidays as gifts for the animal lovers in their lives. Good? Bad? It depends.


Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelters by 2025, is encouraging families and individuals who are thinking of getting a new furry friend this holiday season to choose the adoption option from an animal shelter or rescue group.

“Not everyone considers this, but where gifted pets come from can either help or hurt efforts to end the killing of pets in shelters,” said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “I encourage everyone to adopt rather than buy a pet from a breeder, pet store or online retailer. Aside from giving a loving home to a pet in need, you are helping to divert money away from the inhumane puppy mill industry that churns out millions of puppies annually for sales through pet stores and online retailers.”

Research done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that pets received as gifts are not loved less than those adopted by more traditional means, nor are they relinquished at higher rates. It also showed that “denying adopters who intend to give the animals as gifts may unnecessarily impede the overarching goal of increasing the rate of live-releases of dogs and cats from our nations’ shelter system.”

We love this idea! “A great way to give the priceless gift of a furry companion is to purchase an adoption gift certificate from your local shelter or rescue group,” continued Castle. “That way you leave the choosing of a new best friend up to the family or person adopting. Or you can make it an unforgettable experience by making the choice together.”

And what better time to adopt than now? “Not only do pets bring so much joy to our lives, but right now animal shelters across America are experiencing an overcapacity crisis and there are a lot of great pets who need a home,” added Castle.

more about best friends animal society

Best Friends Animal SocietyBest Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,000 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit


about the author

Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.

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