You may want to 'paws' before adopting a pet as a gift this holiday season

    Shelters are reminding people that an adoption is a long-term commitment (WNWO).

    TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) -- A furry friend may seem like a great Christmas present, but pets need more than just a home for the holidays.

    According to the ASPCA pet adoption rates go up significantly during the holiday season as gifts for family members.

    But local shelters say it should be a decision a family makes together.

    "We really encourage people to make sure it's a family commitment, its not a spur of the moment thing that you know hey yeah they're just here for Christmas and then the kids stop playing with it a few months later, this is a commitment that can be upwards of 10 years with your family," said Laura Simmons-Wark, Lucas County Canine Care and Control community outreach coordinator.

    Shelters suggest bringing the entire family in to meet the pet first, and take the cost of adding another family member into consideration, with emergency vet visits, food and yearly vaccinations.

    "Research is key, don't impulsively do it because it's cute and its going to make your children happy on Christmas morning because again they are a full-time commitment and at the end of the day they are a family member. They're not just a gift so please consider doing all your research before adopting," said Abbey Hall, Toledo Area Humane Society marketing and events coordinator.

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