Many pets may have found permanent new homes during the Christmas season, but Christin King, one of the managers of St. Francis CARE Animal Shelter in Murphysboro, knows many pets are not so lucky.
"We see a jump in pets being dropped off this time of year," said King, adding her facility already has fielded calls from people wanting to relinquish pets they bought or received for Christmas.
"There's a lot of reasons," she said, including no time to care for pets or the pets not housebroken. "We got a call from a mother who got a puppy for Christmas. She told us she has a newborn and no time for the puppy."
King said that, unfortunately, "it's definitely a very common thing this time of year." She said people need to "think it through" before adding a new family member to the home.
"Pets are not disposable," she said. "They are a lifetime commitment, and it takes time and patience to train them."
King hopes those who have signed on for a new pet will try to exhaust every resource before returning their pet to a shelter. At any given time, King said, St. Francis houses about 150 pets waiting for a forever home.
"We have our next Petco adoption evening Jan. 20," she said. She also advocates for pets to be spayed and neutered.