NEW HANOVER CO. -- Giving a puppy as a present seems like the perfect idea, but the Humane Society disagrees. In fact, workers in New Hanover County will not allow people to adopt a dog if it is a holiday gift.
They say puppies as presents are often impulse adoptions. That leave the dogs without a proper home. They also say the holidays can be overwhelming for the young puppies, and once the excitement is over, people don't always take responsibility for their new pet.
"We all want to give our kids the perfect Christmas present, but it won't turn out perfect, not for you, not for the puppy. They can get sick very easily. It just doesn't work. It just looks good in a picture," says Judy Neale with the Humane Society.
As Christmas puppies become full-sized dogs, they take more time, money and responsibility, and many end up as abandoned or stray dogs.
One Wilmington woman started an organization to rescue strays or dogs that are about to be put to sleep.
The Sunburst Foundation has been operating for more than five years and has saved about 300 dogs. The owner uses her own time and money to nurse the dogs back to health and get them ready for adoption.
"I started seeing a need for foster homes because there were so many that the Humane Society wasn't able to take, that ended up getting euthanized that were really nice adoption candidates. I just started doing it on my own and it was September 10, 2001 when I started," says Linda Farell.