Public Policy: Adopting Pets as Gifts

Public Policy: Adopting Pets as Gifts

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) supports that a person adopt a pet with the intention that the animal be gifted to another person in appropriate circumstances. Some research has shown that recipients of pets as gifts have the same attachment and love for those gifted pets, regardless of how they acquired the pet (Emily Weiss, 2013). In fact, pets received as gifts may be less likely to be relinquished to shelters than pets acquired by that individual.

ARL will adopt out pets as gifts following a comprehensive conversation with the gift giver, as is the case in all adoptions, and reserves the right to say no if the situation is not appropriate for the animal or person. ARL reminds gift givers to be sure that the recipient is interested in owning the type of pet that they would be gifted. It is also important to ensure the recipient would be able to provide proper care, housing socialization and enrichment specific to the individual animal.

Therefore, the Animal Rescue League of Boston will:
1. Promote adoption of animals;
2. Continue to find homes for those animals in our care through a progressive,
conversation based adoption process;
3. Continue to make our shelters an inviting environment to surrender or return animals that were gifted in those cases in which the match did not work out;
4. ARL will offer gift certificates so that the gift recipient has the option to choose their own pet;
5. Have an adoption follow-up plan to ensure that all animals adopted from the ARL are
thriving after adoption.

View ARL’s full list of Animal Welfare Policy and Position Statements

Emily Weiss, 1. E. (2013). Should Dogs and Cats be Given as Gifts? Animals, 995–1001.