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Research before giving a pet as a holiday gift

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HOLMEN, Wis. (WXOW) - Dogs or cats can make great holiday presents, but animal specialists want people to prepare for the lifetime commitment that comes with owning a pet.

Carrie and Tim Jensen took the time to prepare for the responsibility that goes along with owning their rescued dog Radar.

"It's always fun when you come home and you're greeted by someone who just wants to do nothing but be with you," Time Jensen said. "He's just so excited."

Local veterinarians and Coulee Region Humane Society workers said that people sometimes new pet owners forget the cost of owning a new pet.

"Anytime anybody takes on a new animal we always encourage them to really dig into the details about what they're getting themselves into," Coulee Region Humane Society Executive Director Heather Drivold said.

"Every little boy and girl wants to have a puppy or a kitty for Christmas," La Crescent Animal Care Veterinarian Dr. Bonnie Robilliard said. "[It is]really exciting but after the holidays sometimes the novelty wears off."

Dr. Robilliard also said it is traumatic for pets to bounce from house to house if families are not prepared to pay for spaying, vaccines, food, and regular vet checkups.

"It just doesn't seem fair to the pet that you might only keep it for a month or two," Dr. Robiliiard said. "When they come into a home it should be a forever home with people that love them, play with them, stay with them and help them with the good times and the bad."

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Marcus Aarsvold

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