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Animals 2013, 3(4), 995-1001; doi:10.3390/ani3040995

Should Dogs and Cats be Given as Gifts?

1
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 3201 SW Winding Way, Palm City, FL 34990, USA
2
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), P.O. Box 821075, Kenmore, WA 98028, USA
3
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), P.O. Box 408, Little Silver, NJ 07739, USA
4
Research and Analytics, Media & Communications, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 520 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10018, USA
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Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 50 Stone Ridge Drive, Florence, MA 01062, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 2 October 2013 / Accepted: 3 October 2013 / Published: 16 October 2013
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Simple Summary: Policies that state pets should not be adopted as gifts are prevalent at animal welfare organizations, despite the fact that this belief is unfounded. Denying adopters who intend to give the animals as gifts may unnecessarily impede the overarching goal of increasing adoptions of pets from our nations’ shelter system. We found that receiving a dog or cat as a gift was not associated with impact on self-perceived love/attachment, or whether the dog or cat was still in the home. These results suggest there is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.

Abstract

Policies that state dogs and cats should not be adopted as gifts are prevalent at animal welfare organizations, despite the fact that this belief is unfounded. Denying adopters who intend to give the animals as gifts may unnecessarily impede the overarching goal of increasing the rate of live-releases of dogs and cats from our nations’ shelter system. The results of this brief survey show that receiving a dog or cat as a gift was neither significantly associated with impact on self-perceived love/attachment, nor was it associated with whether or not respondents still had the dog or cat in the home. The results from this survey add to a growing body of literature that suggests there is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.
Keywords: adoption policies; pets as gifts; pet relinquishment; pet attachment adoption policies; pets as gifts; pet relinquishment; pet attachment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weiss, E.; Dolan, E.D.; Garrison, L.; Hong, J.; Slater, M. Should Dogs and Cats be Given as Gifts? Animals 2013, 3, 995-1001.

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