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DENVER — Shelters and adoption centers see an uptick in animal admissions this time of year.

While it is the season to give, experts at the Denver Dumb Friends League say it’s not good to give a pet as a gift.

“The most important thing about giving pets as gifts is to just not do it,” Joan Thielen at the Dumb Friends League said.

Often times, children or even adults get pets as a surprise. Thielen says that is problematic, as the person on the receiving end didn’t get to choose their new furry friend.

“It should be something that everybody’s involved in just to ensure that it’s a good match for both the entire family and also for the pet,” Thielen said.

If you want to give a pet as a present, Thielen recommends putting a dog toy or collar under the tree. Then after the gift is given, bring that person down to the shelter or adoption center and let them pick out the animal in person.

“They are a lifelong commitment and a lifelong decision, and we want to make sure that it is the best match for the both the person and the animal involved,” Thielen said. “Really, coming down together and choosing an animal together is the best way to ensure that they are the right fit for your family.”

The Dumb Friends League experts also say they’ll help you out if you do get a pet as a gift that you did not want.