Animals not always best gift idea, says Pets Inc. representative

Karamie Sullivan photos.

Many children will wake up Christmas morning this year to find a new puppy or kitten waiting by the tree. Animals are often a popular gift idea, especially during the holidays.

According to Pets Inc.’s Reid Barrett, giving an animal as a present is not always a well-thought-out gesture. “The problem with that is what happens in January when the newness has worn off the puppy,” he said. “You still have to feed, water, and take them outside. And you have additional vet costs and everything else that goes along wit this lifelong commitment.”

Barrett said pets should not necessarily be viewed as gifts. He believes they should only be rescued when a family is ready for the responsibility that comes along with owning a new animal.

Many shelters get an influx of pets in January, according to Barrett. “Not only Pets Inc., but all shelters get bombarded with Christmas puppies and kittens because they’ve chewed up mom’s favorite purse or shoes,” he said. “It was cute to have it at Christmas for the ‘wow’ factor, but now they’re just being puppies and kittens, and sometimes that is destructive.”

Pets Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization that accepts contributions from donors. They were recently contacted by an anonymous donor, who will match all donations given to the company up to a grand total of $100,000 until the end of the year. Barrett said Pets Inc. uses the contributions towards everything from special events, to animals with special needs. “Whether it be a broken leg or extensive treatment, there are so many things we see on a daily basis,” he said.

Anyone interested in adopting a new four-legged family member or making a donation to the organization can visit

Categories: Business, Columbia, Education, Richland County