LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) -- Each year during the holidays, puppies and kittens are purchased as gifts for children. But what happens after the excitement wears off?
Statistics show that more than half of the pets given as gifts end up being returned, as the reality of owning said pet becomes unsettling.
Every morning before heading out to work, pet owner Toni Garcia makes sure she feeds her six foster pets.
Garcia has three dogs and three cats, which is a responsibility she says parents often overlook when getting a pet.
Garcia says most pets are returned after parents realize the commitment attached to owning a new pet.
While Garcia says it's very heartbreaking to see the pets being returned to shelters, she hopes new people who are able to commit to having a pet will give the pets the home they deserve.
Garcia says know that is a lifetime commitment and if you don't see yourself with it for life, opt for fostering instead.
Studies say new pet owners can expect first year cost of owning a pet around $2,000.