Animal Control prohibits pets as gifts unless recipient knows

MADACC tries to prevent unwanted returned pets
Posted at 10:31 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-26 23:31:07-05

If you were disappointed on Christmas morning not to see a pet under the tree, the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission will tell you that's probably for the best.

The organization has a strict policy that prevents people from adopting animals as gifts, without the recipient's knowledge. That policy is in place to prevent a rush of people trying to surrender unwanted animals after the holiday.

At MADACC on Monday, the Gonzalez family was there to adopt a dog as a late Christmas present. Sandra Gonzalez says her three daughters have been wanting a pet for awhile.

"We went to the museum first and we just kind of told them on our way here," she said. "They were just yelling in the car."

According to MADACC, the Gonzalez family has the right idea, instead of adopting a dog and surprising the kids at home.

"Make sure that this is a pet that's going to fit in your home because if it's not, that's when they get returned," said Kathy Shillinglaw, the outreach coordinator at MADACC.

She says because pets all have different personalities, it's hard for someone to pick out a pet for another person or for their kids, without making sure the animal and the human get along.

She also says they are currently in the middle of their 12 Strays of Christmas promotion, where you can adopt a pet for only $12 until December 30. She said that promotion has helped a lot of animals find homes, at a time when she says many families will try to surrender their animals.

"Before going on a big holiday they realize now's a good time to get rid of this animal," said Shillinglaw. "We send them to the Wisconsin Humane Society for surrenders."

She says if you ever do want to adopt a pet as a gift for someone, offer to pay their adoption fee but bring that person to pick out the animal.

"Someone can't come in and say I want to adopt this dog for my brother, we don't allow that," said Shillinglaw. "The person who's going to be living with the dog has to be here." 

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