Animal Care Services urges residents to make an informed decision

Published on December 20, 2023

City of San Antonio Animal Care Services Department   

Animal Care Services urges residents to make an informed decision on pets as Christmas presents

SAN ANTONIO (December 20, 2023) – With the holidays quickly approaching, many people decide a new puppy or kitten would make the perfect Christmas gift. San Antonio Animal Care Services (SAACS) does not discourage holiday pet adoptions but strongly encourages residents to make an informed decision when adopting a pet at any time of the year. According to SAACS, the holiday season brings scammers and unscrupulous breeders that will take advantage of would-be pet parents. Some will misrepresent the breeds they have or sell sick and underage animals for cash in parking lots or roadside. Not only is this dishonest, but it is also against the law. Many pets connected to illegal pet sales end up dying from diseases such as parvo and distemper because they have not been vaccinated or they are simply too young to be placed in a home.

San Antonio residents should always report illegal pet sales to the City by calling 3-1-1 or 210-207-6000. If you still decide to get a pet from a breeder instead of a shelter, ask questions. A reputable breeder will not mind you verifying vaccination records and can give you information on your new pup’s mother and father, if not show them to you directly. Ask for a signed health guarantee and read the breeder’s contract before you sign it.  

Regardless of how you meet your new pet, having a dog or cat is a lifetime commitment. Make a decision that is well thought out and right for you, your family, and your new furry friend. Here are some considerations when pondering pets as gifts:

  • Puppies and kittens require constant attention and supervision which could be in short supply due to the usual hustle and bustle of the season. This time in a young pet’s life is one at which they are most impressionable. Habits learned now, both good and bad, can last a lifetime.
  • If you want to give a pet as a present, consider bringing the animal home after the holidays and give pet supplies or a stuffed animal in preparation for the real thing.
  • Consider planning the purchase with the gift recipient. Make a surprise trip to the shelter and let your friend or loved one choose their pet. Everyone’s idea of the perfect dog or cat may not be the same.
  • Parents buying a new puppy or kitten for their children this Christmas must realize they will likely be the primary caregivers of the animal.
  • If you do decide to bring a new pet home, have patience while the animal gets acclimated to their new environment. Understand that getting a dog or cat means you are willing and able to make a lifetime commitment to the responsible care of that animal.
  • Remember that a dog or cat who has been properly introduced to their adopters is much more likely to become a true member of the family.

All potential SAACS adopters meet with the shelter’s placement team who can help them determine the perfect pet for their family and lifestyle. Animals adopted from ACS will be sterilized, vaccinated, and microchipped before going to their furever home. The Animal Care Services Adoption Center will be open December 24 until 2 p.m., closed Christmas Day, and then open again on December 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.