Adopting a pet for the holidays

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Knoxville (WVLT) – If you are wishing for a furry friend under your Christmas tree this year, you should remember that there is a lot more to a pet than a cute face.

It didn't take Jim Busch very long to fall in love with Miss Daisy on Friday at the Young-Williams Animal Shelter...

"It was sort of a little moment,” said Busch who was shopping for a dog. “We looked up at each other and she kind of hopped up out of her bed and jumped toward the cage at me, wagging her tail."

Three year old Daisy stole Jim's heart just in time for Christmas.

"This will be a great Christmas present," he said. "It'll just be me and Miss Daisy."

Even though Daisy will be Jim's first dog, he knew she could be a lot of work.

"She needs to get the play time she needs,” he said, “and I've got a tough 9 to 5 gig."

That’s why experts say you should be careful about getting a pet, especially around the holidays.

“You've got to realize that this is a lifelong commitment," said Tim Adams, Executive Director of the Young-Williams Animal Shelter.

The staff at Young-Williams has been helping people find their perfect furry friend for the holidays, but if you're thinking about giving a pet as a gift, they recommend giving a gift certificate instead.

"If you pick out something for someone and give it to them, a puppy, a kitten or whatever and it's not the right one, it puts everybody in an awkward situation," Adams said.

And If you're expecting a pet under your tree on Christmas, don't forget about vet visits and house training.

"You need to think about puppy-proofing or dog-proofing your decorations in your house," Adams said.

Puppies are full of energy, so if you're going to bring one home, make sure you have lots of toys.

"Puppies are not always perfect when you get them home,” said Adams, “so there may be some that require a bit of behavioral training.”

Another thing to remember is that a puppy or kitten just may not be for you.

"For some folks a hamster or a gerbil may be enough," Adams said.

Unfortunately the Young-Williams Animal Shelter typically takes in unwanted Christmas pets within weeks or months after the New Year.

You can find out how to adopt by visiting the Hot Key.

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