Oregon Humane Society
  Pet Training

Giving Pets as Gifts



Bring your friend or loved one along to help choose the perfect pet to adopt.


Giving a pet as a gift to someone special is a fantastic idea, right? Your loved one will be so happy to get that adorable, wriggly puppy or sleek, lovable kitty; plus you’ll be doing a great thing by adopting a needy pet from a shelter. Right?


Not quite. Adopting a shelter pet IS a wonderful thing to do, and pets enrich our lives. Taking care of a pet is a big commitment, though, and isn't something that should be sprung on someone. The surprise might not be a pleasant one, and some may find that they're unable to or uninterested in keeping up with the pet in the long term.


At OHS, we want to make matches for pets and people that will last and will benefit everyone involved, so here’s what we suggest when you’re thinking of giving a pet as a gift.


Be Prepared


There are lots of things to consider before bringing a pet into your life or that of a friend or loved one:

  • Does the person really want a pet?
  • Does s/he have the time and ability to care for one?
  • How about allergies, apartment/housing pet restrictions, and the costs of supplies and vet care?


These are just some of the questions to explore before putting a furry or feathered friend into someone’s hands. We offer plenty of resources to help you plan:


  • Things to Consider First - these questions will help in deciding whether a pet is a good fit, and what types of pets will best suit the person's lifestyle.
  • Pet Needs Checklists for Cats and for Dogs - these lists will help you consider some of the details of immediate and long-term pet care following an adoption. Is your gift recipient ready?
  • Introducing a New Pet to Resident Pets: Cats | Dogs - does your loved one already have pets? We encourage resident dogs to come in for a pet meet prior to adoption, and offer tips on introductions between new pets and current pets.
  • Selecting the Right Pet for Your Kids - very important considerations if there’s a child or youth in the family, or if a child is your intended recipient.
  • Children and Dogs - preparations to take when bringing a dog into a family with children so that everyone is happy and healthy.


Feeling Ready? Give the Gift—Certificate



Purchase gift certificates as well as pet supplies at Best Friends' Corner at OHS



What to do once you've thought it through, and you feel that everyone is ready and committed? We do not recommend putting a pet under the tree on Christmas morning, or in the stack of birthday presents at the party—and of course, no wrapping the pet! Instead, we suggest a gift certificate good for an adoption at the shelter.


You can combine the gift certificate with a stuffed animal, representing the pet that they get to choose themselves after visiting and meeting with the pets at the shelter.  


At the Oregon Humane Society you can purchase gift certificates at our Best Friends' Corner Pet Supply Store in the shelter. Gift certificates are available toward the adoption of a new furry or feathered friend (dog, cat, rabbit, rodent, or bird) as well as for merchandise in the store including food, dishes, beds and other things that new pets need.


Visit the Oregon Humane Society or call (503) 285-7722 and ask for details on purchasing a gift certificate.


When you’re ready to adopt, visit the shelter and meet our available pets. You'll want to take this opportunity to ask questions of our adoption counselors, who can offer their experience to help you and your friend or loved one find just the right pet.


More about How to Adopt from OHS