Cheney Free Press -

Washington News Service 

Remember that a pet for Christmas will become a pet for life


Mona Shand

If a cat or a dog is on your child's list for Santa this year, experts say the decision needs to be well thought out and should ideally involve the whole family.

SEATTLE - Waking up to find a puppy or a kitten under the tree on Christmas morning might be a child's dream, but experts caution parents to think far beyond the holidays when considering a new pet. K.C. Theisen, director of pet-care issues, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), said bringing an animal into the family requires the same level of planning as any other addition, because this will likely be a 10- to 20-year commitment.

"It's just a fact that small children aren't quite responsible enough to handle all of the duties for a dog or a cat. Even teenagers often end up with very...

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