SOURCE: New Hope Animal Hospital

November 09, 2011 10:00 ET

Durham Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital Urges Against Giving Animals as Gifts

DURHAM, NC--(Marketwire - Nov 9, 2011) - The veterinarians at New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham have first-hand experience with what can happen to pets given as gifts, and caution the public to consider the dangers that may occur to the animals involved. While this practice is often romanticized in movies and TV shows, many of the pets that are gifted end up in shelters or on the streets, without proper food, training, or needed medical care. The clinic, which also serves the Chapel Hill area, encourages families interested in a pet to make educated and informed decisions to ensure the health, happiness and well-being of the pet is the top priority.

Durham veterinarian, Dr. Soren Windram and his partner at New Hope Animal Hospital, Dr. Kay Bishop, advise potential pet owners that there are several important considerations to make before adopting a pet.

Dr. Windram explains, "When someone decides to adopt a pet, they are adopting another living family member, not just a toy. This new family member needs food, shelter, love, medical care, including spaying or neutering, animal dentistry, etc. When someone gives a pet as a gift to somebody who is not prepared, the situation can end sadly for the pet."

Veterinarian Dr. Bishop says that every time a new pet movie comes out, the number of pets being abandoned or turned over to shelters increases. According to the Humane Society, after the release of Disney's 101 Dalmatians and its sequel, there was a 25 percent increase in the population of Dalmatians showing up in shelters.

"Many people here and in Chapel Hill also fail to think about how a pet's temperament may clash with the family's lifestyle. A pet is also a big financial responsibility. Medical care, including animal surgery, cat boarding and dog boarding are major and necessary expenses. All of these things need to be considered before brining a pet home," said Dr. Bishop.

The veterinarians also caution parents against giving pets as gifts to children, even if the parents have already made all of these considerations. While they suggest that children should be encouraged to participate in caring for the family pet, they stress that a pet should be viewed as another member of the family that needs a responsible adult to train and oversee his or her care.

Doctors Windram and Bishop have posted several sections on their website dedicated to helping families make informed pet adoption decisions. They cover choosing the right pet, how to find a pet from ethical sources, and how to prepare the home for a pet's arrival.

Dr. Windram concludes, "Education and preparation are the keys to making life with a pet a rewarding experience for both the family and the pet. So ask a veterinarian for advice and do the homework so your pet experience is a happy one."

Prospective and current pet owners can learn more by visiting the website of New Hope Animal Hospital at

Contact Information

  • New Hope Animal Hospital
    Durham, NC