BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - It's a busy time of year with the holidays right around the corner, but can you imagine being too busy to care for your pet?
Volunteers at the Beaufort County Animal Shelter say they see more and more animals come through their doors because they don't fit in with holiday plans.
The Beaufort Animal Shelter usually operates at full capacity throughout the entire year, but especially during the holiday season is when they see a lot more pets coming in.
Jan Hughes has been working at the Beaufort County Animal Shelter for over 21 years, and each year she sees it happen: pet owners giving up their animals right as the holiday season rolls around.
"Because they don't want to pay for boarding, or have a pet sitter come in. I don't know how somebody lives with a pet and doesn't have a plan for that, or they'll just cut them loose and when they come back, they might have the dog, or don't," said volunteer, Jan Hughes.
For those who can't imagine abandoning their furry friend, Jan says even with the option of kennels, pet sitters, and vets who board, it's still a big problem.
"It's sad that we have these problems in Beaufort County. It's not a huge area. It would be like leaving your child," she said.
While this is the time of year a lot of animals appear under the tree as presents, she says to make sure you are ready for that big commitment.
"We're really hoping that at Christmastime especially, instead of coming in to look at other animals, that people would just take the time and spend a lot more love and attention on the animals they do have. Not that we don't want them to have homes. We certainly don't want to keep all these cats and dogs."
The shelter recommends that if you want to give someone the gift of a pet this holiday season, give them a gift certificate. That way, they can go on their own time and bond with the animal of their choice, rather than you picking it out for them. They say the best time to do that is right after New Years.