Pets as Gifts

by Bonney Brown

One day, I noticed a woman and two children in our Nevada Humane Society shelter looking at the cats available for adoption. They stopped in front of Mario’s cage, a mellow former tomcat with nicks in his ears, who now enjoys lounging, eating and affection. I could not resist stopping to put in a good word for him.

One of the boys chimed in: “We think Grandpa might like him!” Turns out Grandpa’s cat had passed away and they thought he might be ready for a new cat. One boy snapped a photo on his cell phone. They were on their way to visit Grandpa and planned to show him the photos and tell him about some of the cats they saw.  “My father is an old warrior, like Mario,” laughed the boy’s mother.

A few days later they were back. After seeing the photos and hearing about the cats, Grandpa had selected Mario.

While some experts will always advise against pets as gifts, I think there are situations, like this one, where it can work beautifully. This family did several things right. They made sure Grandpa wanted a cat and they included him in the selection process. They were also committed to caring for the cat if Grandpa ever could not do so.

Pets can be the light of someone’s life and, under the right circumstance, may make the perfect gift. However, there are important guidelines to follow.

Ask the individual if they would like a pet and if so, what kind of pet. The only exceptions to this would be an immediate family member, such as parents adopting a pet for a child or perhaps a senior who lives with you. In this case, you are making the commitment to care for the pet if the recipient cannot or does not want to do so.

Let the gift recipient choose their own pet. You might think they should love the cute puppy you picked out, but maybe they’d prefer a quiet cat. After all, adopting a pet is a matter of the heart, so it is always best for the individual to select their own pet.

Set on surprising the recipient? Give a pet adoption gift certificate, available at all three animal shelters in our area.

The time spent helping your loved one find their perfect pet at an animal shelter is a gift almost as special as the pet they select as their new best buddy.


Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoptions $45 adult dogs, $10 adult cats daily at Nevada Humane Society and weekends adoption centers at The Legends and The Summit.


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