PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Adopting a dog or cat is always a wonderfully enriching experience but it’s not a decision to ever be taken lightly.

Please keep in mind that surprising someone else who may not have any intention of adopting right now can be dangerously risky, especially for the animal. You have to remember that this is a huge transition for the animals and they need a certain amount of stability and security.

Although it’s a wonderful gesture, you need to make sure that the recipient is indeed ready to adopt. If they are, then it’s a winning combination but it’s extremely unfair to the animal if that isn’t the case. An animal isn’t a gift that can or should ever be easily returned or exchanged.

If you want to present the wonderful gift of adoption such as this, here’s a great way to do it.

You can put together a special one-of a-kind adoption kit that you create. Be creative! Include toys, a leash, a gift certificate for the adoption fees, a collar, food, some treats, etc, maybe even a picture of several pets available at the shelter. Wrap it up with a big bow along with a special date to visit the shelter to pick out the newest family member. It can be a special day and a special event that you can look forward to and share together in the New Year.

Reported By Nan Talleno, KYW Newsradio

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