Policies that state dogs and cats should not be adopted as gifts are prevalent at animal welfare organizations, despite the fact that this belief is unfounded. Denying adopters who intend to give the animals as gifts may unnecessarily impede the overarching goal of increasing the rate of live-releases of dogs and cats from our nations’ shelter system. The results of this brief survey show that receiving a dog or cat as a gift was neither significantly associated with impact on self-perceived love/attachment, nor was it associated with whether or not respondents still had the dog or cat in the home. The results from this survey add to a growing body of literature that suggests there is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.
American Humane Association. Keeping Pets (Dogs and Cats) in Homes: A Three-Phase Retention Study. Phase II: Descriptive Study of Post-Adoption Retention in Six Shelters in Three U.S. Cities. Available online: http://www.americanhumane.org/petsmart-keeping-pets-phase-ii.pdf (accessed on 9 September 2013).
New, J.C., Jr.; Salman, M.D.; King, M.; Scarlett, J.M.; Kass, P.H.; Hutchison, J.M. Characteristics of Shelter-Relinquished Animals and Their Owners Compared with Animals and Their Owners in U.S. Pet-Owning Households. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2000, 3, 179–201, doi:10.1207/S15327604JAWS0303_1.
New, J.C., Jr.; Salman, M.D.; Scarlett, J.M.; Kass, P.H.; Vaughn, J.A.; Scherr, S.; Kelch, W.J. Moving: Characteristics of Dogs and Cats and Those Relinquishing Them to 12 U.S. Animal Shelters. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 1999, 2, 83–96, doi:10.1207/s15327604jaws0202_1.
Scarlett, J.M.; Salman, M.D.; New, J.G., Jr.; Kass, P.H. Reasons for Relinquishment of Companion Animals in U.S. Animal Shelters: Selected Health and Personal Issues. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 1999, 2, 41–57, doi:10.1207/s15327604jaws0201_4.