Christmas is frequently a time when pets are given as gifts. The so called "Christmas Dumpathon" is a phenomenon animal shelters warn about. It's people giving back animals after receiving them as a present, realizing they're not ready for their four legged family member.
"I think it's less and less of a problem if groups have good policies in place," said Gary Willoughby II, the President and CEO of the SPCA Serving Erie County (New York).
Studies show most people keep their new pets. The ASPCA found that 96% of pets received as a gift were loved just as much as any other adopted furry friend.
When adopting a pet at the SPCA Serving Erie County, adopters go through a thorough, slow process.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you can't properly take care of your new pet, contact your local animal shelter.
This article was written by Olivia Proia for WKBW .