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Local animal shelter expecting "Christmas puppies" from unprepared owners

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FARGO—As people prepare for the new year, animal shelters are preparing to receive lots of "christmas puppies."

Homeward Animal Shelter has received dozens of surrendered dogs and cats intended as Christmas presents to loved ones.

The shelter Executive Director say "pet presents" might be cute, but most people don't realize it can be at least a 15 year commitment.

When people realize they're not ready for that commitment, they surrender the pet, which can have a lasting impact on the animal.

"It is hard on them, and eventually if they get passed around too much, they can develop a mindset of, I'm not going to touch this family because I don't know if I can stay here, it is hard on everyone," said Nukhet Hendricks, Homeward Animal Shelter.

Instead of gifting a pet, Homeward suggests giving a gift card or a coupon to a shelter that way the other person has the option to say no before it's too late.