PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner. You may be thinking about getting a puppy or kitten to give as a gift. But believe it or not, there are do's and don't when it comes to that.
Renee Hardie adopted her German shepherd last December when he was about 10-weeks-old. "Now he's about 85 pounds," she said.
Pat Deshong, the president of Furry Friends Adoption Clinic & Ranch said Hardie did it the right way. She understood what she was getting into.
"When they adopted it, it was a small puppy. Now it's 85 pounds. They were prepared for that," she said.
Deshong is debunking the taboo gift of getting a puppy for Christmas. " I think it's a great idea to adopt anytime even during the holidays," she said.
We've all seen the stories about full shelters after the holidays. That surprise didn't work. She said the key is making sure the whole family is involved.
"Don't go to a shelter and pick a puppy or dog and surprise your family," said Deshong. "I think that's wrong. Because every dog has their own personality. I think it's great to have a card that says let's go to your local shelter."
Sharon Dipietro at Tri-County Animal Rescue echoes that sentiment.
"We encourage coming in and making it a family affair," she said. "Bring in pets they may already have in their home to make sure they are compatible with each other."
DiPietro warns about everyone not being on board. "Like, for instance, if the wife doesn't want one or the husband doesn't want one," she said.
Holidays can be a good time because people are off work, but many buy into the family-affair method. "I think it should be a family decision but the holidays is a great time to add an animal of any kind to the family," said Hardie. "Surprising someone; they may not be ready. May not be the breed they can handle. Weight-wise, strength."