What to consider before giving a pet as a gift

If you do want a Christmas fur-baby, shelters are an excellent option. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

It can be tempting to give a pet as a gift, but remember it's a huge commitment.

Dogs and cats can live up to 15 or 20 years. So remember, puppies and kittens may be cute now, but they do get bigger.

Families also need to consider the impact pets will have on the entire household, because they'll need to be fed, walked and litter boxes changed. Not to mention, some pets can be a little destructive.

If you do want a Christmas fur-baby, shelters are an excellent option.

"Get a gift certiciate for an adoption fee from the rescue organization you are visiting and give that as a stocking stuffer or a wrap up present from under the tree. And then the whole family can come and select the pet," Nancy Bulluck, of Sarge's Animal Rescue, said.|

If you're not on the market for a pet, you can still help local animal rescues. Sarge's Animal Rescue in Waynesville will be wrapping holiday gifts through Christmas Eve at Mast General Store on Main Street.

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