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Why it could be a good idea to consider pet adoption for Christmas

Cat behind bars
Posted at 10:29 PM, Dec 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 23:47:31-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There's a good chance many of you will ask Santa to bring you a new fury friend this Christmas.

KC Pet Project says the need for pet adoption is greater this year.

In years past, the biggest need for adoption had been for cats, but this year that's flipped to dogs.

"We're just seeing so many more dogs coming in right now than we ever have," said Tori Fugate, Chief Communications Officer at KC Pet Project.

Research published by MDPI and the National Library of Medicine shows the number of pets in the United States returned to shelters within the first six months of adoption ranges from 7% to 20%.

That tracks with the uptick KC Pet Project and shelters like it across the country are seeing.

"We have over 250 dogs in our shelter right now. We should have about 140," Fugate said.

Every day 40 to 60 new pets are brought to the shelter and half of them are dogs.

They're on track to care for 16,000 animals this year, which is more than in any year in Kansas City's history.

Research shows the biggest factor for a spike in returns and animals being brought back was not lack of knowledge, preparation, or experience with a pet, but rather the high cost of pet ownership.

The ASPCA's research found giving pets as gifts can safely increase holiday adoption rates, which the organization endorses.

“This time of year we love to tell everybody bring your whole family down to pick out your new best friend," Fugate said.