Animal shelters brace for return of unwanted pets after Christmas

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - They are popular but often unwise Christmas gift, puppies and kittens. They're cute in the beginning but by sometime in the new year that cuteness will wear off, and that means a busy time for area animal shelters.

Folks at the Humane Society of Indianapolis tell CBS4 that bringing a pet into your life, especially around the holidays, is like bringing home a baby. It's a lot of responsibility that makes a pet so much more than a gift.

Sadly, some people realize after Christmas that owning a pet just is not for them. But Connie Swaim with IndyHumane tells us she preaches patience.

Her call volume will increase now and into the coming weeks, with concerned new pet owners. She said she'll reassure them that their home is better than putting the animal in the shelter.

"The best long-term outcome for most pets is if the owner will keep it and work on that behavior issue," she said, "People are mainly calling for issues related to the age of the animal they're getting."

Now in certain cases, an animal may not be the right fit. Swaim said they will work with those owners.

But they advise new pet owners with problems to wait it out and invest in dog or cat training. Swaim said it's easily available in Indianapolis at all price points.

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