Cincinnati Rescue Offers Pet Adoption Certificates to Reduce Post-Vacation Pet Returns

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – Instead of giving pets as gifts at Christmas, a local rescue is offering adoption certificates designed to help reduce the number of pets that are returned to shelters after the holiday season.

Madison Schleibaum heads the Cincinnati-based Ohio Pet Sanctuary organization. She said she takes hundreds of animals every year.

“Mostly cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Right now we have them as well as ferrets, frogs, chinchillas, gerbils, rats, ”said Schleibaum.

Schleibaum said many rescues, including his own, are often overwhelmed with animals at the start of a new year as many pets return after the holiday season.

“We see the ones that were bought in pet stores and then people couldn’t take care of them, or they weren’t suitable, or we didn’t talk to the parents first, that sort of thing. ” she said.

Many pets that are returned to shelters after Christmas have been given as gifts, Schleibaum says. It is a process which, according to Schleibaum, affects animals in a negative way.

“When you give an animal as a gift, you are not just giving the animal. You give this animal food, shelter, vet bills and care for its entire life, ”said Schleibaum. “[When an animal is returned,] he doesn’t understand what’s going on. It doesn’t get as much attention, so it’s very harmful to their mental health.

To solve the problem, Schleibaum started a pet certificate program. Instead of giving an animal, people can give the gift of a future adoption.

“We have had a lot of success so far,” she said. “Every animal that was adopted from us with a pet certificate was not returned and we had no problems. “

In the past, Schleibaum has said she has considered putting adoptions on hold during the holiday season, but she believes offering certificates is the best option.

“If they don’t adopt a kitten from us, they’ll take one off Craigslist or their neighbor that had a litter, things like that, so at least that way we can take a little more control over the litter. how these animals are going to be cared for in the future, ”said Schleibaum. “We don’t want them to just find a home, we want them to find the right home. “

Schleibaum said his rescue is already teeming with animals. To date, they have almost 60 on their list and 400 animals on a waiting list.

Anyone interested in adopting a pet or obtaining a pet certificate can contact the Ohio Pet Sanctuary.

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