According to the ASPCA about 3.2 million shelter pets are adopted each year. The Bangor Humane Society makes up a small portion of that.
"Annually we adopt out almost 3,000 animals," said Stacey Coventry with the Bangor Humane Society. Coventry said before giving an animal as a gift, there are things to consider.
"Adopting a puppy for the holidays may be fun and exciting but if you don't have the time after the holidays to put into that training then you're not setting it up for success," said Coventry.
She said understanding the financial commitment is important as well.
"You never know what may happen. Accidents do happen, make sure you can financially afford that," said Coventry.
She encourages adoption but said it's a very personal experience.
"Get a gift basket and fill it with all kinds of goodies that they might need for their new pet, with a gift certificate toward adoption and then they can have the joy of picking out their own animal," said Coventry.
She said if someone is adamant about bringing home a pet for the holidays,that the person giving the animal as a gift for someone else needs to be honest and up front when adopting.
"Talk with our staff about the lifestyle, the person, the type of home setting," said Coventry.
And once the animal comes home, other experts say a new environment can be overwhelmed.
"It's not a great time to be taking them places or having lots of people coming over," said Don Hanson with Green Acre Kennels in Bangor.
No one wants a trip to the emergency clinic on a holiday. Experts say to watch out for Christmas decorations pets can ingest, and food items that can cause harm.
"Any candy we may have out at Christmas may contain Xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener ... sometimes it's just says sugar alcohol and the thing to understand with pets, is that this can kill and animal," said Hanson.