New program approves the gift of animals, with restrictions
Although giving animals as gifts has been discouraged in the past, this year, the Wisconsin Humane Society, along with national researchers and animal welfare organizations, will test a new program called "Give the Gift of Companionship."
This carefully designed adoption program provides a thoughtful approach to gifting animals, along with support and follow up services.
People who want to gift an animal must provide WHS with information about the intended recipient, including contact information, the number and ages of other people and animals in the household, a description of the recipient's lifestyle and their expectations for a new pet. Plus, gift-givers take legal responsibility for the animal until the recipient meets with WHS counselors and signs the adoption contract transferring guardianship to them.
Adoption counselors follow up with gift recipients three or four times after the transfer of guardianship to ensure a smooth transition and watch out for potential problems.
The results of the trial gift adoption program at WHS will be included in a nationwide study and analysis. PetSmart Charities and the American Humane Association are sponsoring the study.
Some animal advocates worry that the excitement of an unplanned and lively addition to the family will soon wear off, to the detriment of the animal, but other research has shown otherwise.
The Wisconsin Humane Society believes that whenever a person or family commits to a lifetime relationship with a companion animal, the world is a better place, and that making a positive difference for an animal in need is a remarkable gift.
Call (414)ANIMALS to learn more about this new program.
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