Pet adoptions and returns rising after holidays

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

There's nothing quite like the excitement of welcoming a new pet into your family. Leaders at the Kansas Humane society say it isn't uncommon to see an increase in adoptions around the holidays.

"In December, we will usually see a bit of an uptick over November, maybe a little bit over October," says CEO and President of the Kansas Humane Society, Mark Eby.

Giving pets as Christmas gifts comes with a downside. Eby says the shelter is also likely to see an increase in returned animals.

"We do see an increase of animals coming from other places right after Christmas. So, pet stores, breeders, things like that," says Eby.

According to an ASPCA rehoming survey, pet problems like behavior, size, or unexpected, care responsibilities are the most common reasons for rehoming a pet.

"When you give an animal to your kids, and you're asking them to have a commitment, kids don't always have that commitment long term," says Eby.

That's why rescue groups like the Wichita Animal Action League work with adopters to prepare them before deciding to adopt.

"We don't encourage impulse buying of an animal. We encourage healthy adoption through rescue," says Stephanie McCurdy, Marketing Coordinator of Wichita Action League.

December was a record breaking month for WAAL, with over 100 pet adoptions.

"People had a lot of time off in December, so where the holidays fell with Thanksgiving and December, a lot of people had a lot of time off. So, that gives them a lot of time to be able to work with an animal," says McCurdy.

While WAAL loves to see pets find their forever homes, they say the work doesn't stop there.

"We want you to make sure that you're making a good decision for you and your family...We want to remain a good resource for that pet owner later on in life," says McCurdy.

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