Family Travel

Making A Pet Your New Family Addition

Adding to your family in a four legged way is terrific- and can make any family feel complete, but unfortunately these furry little companions can find themselves kicked to the proverbial curb for a myriad of reasons.

So, if you’re looking to add some fuzzy love to your christmas or hanukkah list- please keep these guidelines, provided by the LASPCA, in mind. They will help you make the best possible decision- for all involved.

Finally, we provide you with a list of pet adoption agencies in our area.

Do’s and Don’ts of Giving Pets as Presents ( provided by the LA SPCA)

Every year around the holidays, the topic of giving pets as gifts come up. Although it seems like a great present and one that would be a wonderful surprise for a loved one, owning a pet is not only a personal but a financial commitment that takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication.

Is the recipient ready for a pet? Can they afford the costs associated with a pet? Does the recipient have space for a pet and does their landlord allow animals? There are all sorts of questions to take into account when bringing home an animal. The person who will be caring for the pet needs to be involved in the process from start to finish to make sure they are comfortable taking on the responsibility of a pet. Oftentimes, individuals who are surprised with a pet become overwhelmed by the animal and it can become a source of stress instead of the intended source of joy. A commitment as great as owning a pet is better for planning, not surprising.

Buy a stuffed dog, a dog toy, or a book on dog care and then when they open their present, you can say, “I wanted to get you a dog, but I wanted you to pick it out. I found some local shelters and rescue organizations and we can go together tomorrow and find the right match for you.” You get full credit for the idea but you won’t make your loved one figure out how to housebreak a puppy while hosting Christmas dinner.

Is your household ready to have an animal? Is your lifestyle one that can accommodate an animal? What kind of animal would do best in your home? Is your household one that is high energy or low energy? Do you have other animals that need to be introduced to the new pet? Do you have children? When adopting an animal, it’s important to think about the long term as you are introducing a pet into your home that will live there for the duration of their life. Pets require time and attention. If you have children or other pets, it’s important to have a meet and greet with the prospective new pet to make sure everyone gets along.

Take the time to visit your local shelters to see what kind of animal may be best for your household as there are countless animals looking for their forever homes. If you’re looking for a specific breed, keep checking the websites of local shelters as 25% of the animals received are purebred. Also, check in with local breed rescue groups like Louisiana Boxer Rescue or Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue.

courtesy of the Louisiana SPCA.

Area shelters and rescue organizations


1700 Mardi Gras Blvd.,New Orleans


12/12/12 $12 adoption for any animal


Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter   

#1 Humane Way, Harahan or 1869 Ames Blvd. Marrero

504-736-6111 EB or 504-349-5111 WB


Animal Helper

volunteer organization which does not have a central shelter


PAWS (Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society)   

455 F. Edward Hebert, Belle Chasse


A no-kill animal shelter.


Southern Animal Foundation

1823 Magazine St, New Orleans

504. 671.8235

A full service non-profit veterinary clinic and adoption/rescue agency.


St Bernard Animal Shelter

5455 E. Judge Perez Drive, Violet, LA.



ARNO -Animal Rescue  New Orleans

271 Plauche Street

Jefferson, LA 70123

Or you can fax your completed application to 504.522.0239.

ARNO is open to the public from 3PM to 7PM daily. Please stop by during those hours to inquire about adopting or schedule an appointment during other times with

Newsletter Signup

Your Weekly guide to New Orleans family fun. NOLA Family has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up