(NECN: Marnie MacLean) - There's no doubt any child would love to see a kitten or puppy underneath the tree on Christmas morning, but are pets as presents a good idea?
The short answer, according to some New England shelters, is yes. Research done by the ASPCA showed that animals given as gifts are not loved less or given up more than other pets.
The executive director of the Kennebec Valley Humane Society in Augusta, Maine says they do ask a lot of questions of people looking to give a pet as a gift. However, in most cases, they see it as a good opportunity for the animals.
Hillary Roberts says, "The shelter environment is stressful, this isn't the best place for animals. For us to give an animal the chance to spend the holidays with a family, we aren't going to pass that up."
Roberts says the element of surprise can be fun, but she also recommends giving a gift certificate from the shelter so people can come in and help decide which animal should be their new pet.