FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM)-- Children dream of waking up Christmas morning to see a cute puppy or kitten with a red brow under the tree but before you gift a pet as a present there are some things you should know.
There are millions of animals waiting in shelters across the country for their forever homes.
Before you adopt a pet this holiday season consider this, they are not toys.
“Obviously pets are living creatures. It’s not a house plant or anything. It’s a long-term commitment," said Justine Lentz, Animal Services Superintendent Fayetteville.
Animal rescue advocates want to remind people that owning a pet is a big responsibility.
The Schader family says they thought long and hard before deciding to add a new addition to the family.
“It's another thing that you have to feed, you have to play with, it’s not something you can just dump in a corner and say okay there it is. It’s a very thoughtful process that you have to go through,” said Sammy Schader.
While animals are great companions keep in mind it's important to find the right match for you and your family.
“You just have to give them a little patience and a little TLC and sometimes it’s a little bit easier and kinder to that after the holidays have passed," said Lentz.
If you’re ready to take on a pet not just while they’re young and healthy but later in life then that's unconditional love worth investing in.
“You’re not just getting a new pet in your home. You’re also saving a life. You’re also opening up room for another pet that may need to come into your local shelter," said Lentz.
Fayetteville animal services offer gift certificates where you can pay for the adoption fee and when time is right you can go to the shelter and pick out the animal that's perfect for your family.