Before Giving A Pet For Christmas... You May Want To Think Twice

The holidays are a time of giving, but for some of our four legged friends, it can be a time of abandonment. Many of you will either give or receive pets for Christmas, but that's not necessarily a good idea.

"It almost looks like a little Walt Disney dog, doesn't it?" - When Ginger Ford met Scruffy, it was nothing like Lady and the Tramp . The story is much more trashy. Ford says a St. Francisville woman discovered the puppy Sunday alone, abandoned and apparently left to die in a dumpster.

Ford is with the West Feliciana Humane Society. She says this time of year, stories like Scruffy's are all too common because people receive puppies as Christmas gifts and then they grow into dogs that people often don't want.

Hilton Cole, the head of the East Baton Rouge Animal Control, strongly urges people not to surprise anyone with a pet for Christmas. He says Christmas pets often turn into picked up strays because of what he describes as a behavior problem which doesn't fit the new owner's lifestyle.

However, their is a happy end to Scruffy's story - Ford says their is a long list of people who want to take care of him. So while someone found Scruffy down in the dumps... He's still getting a fairy tale ending.

Both Ford and Cole say before you get a pet for Christmas, do a little planning: Consider the cost of owning a pet and if will get along well with children. They also say if you are going to give someone a pet, ask them first. - Cole even suggests you take them along to pick out the right pet for their lifestyle. Ford also suggests you have a backup plan in case you can't keep your pet--either have a friend who can take it in or find a shelter that can take it.

Cole says abandoning a pet is against the law. At the extreme, it's punishable by a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.