AMARILLO, Texas----As you make your Christmas wish list, you might want to check it twice because there's one present you should avoid this holiday season.
If you plan on purchasing a pet for a friend or loved one, local shelters say you may actually be doing more harm than good this year.
It's a hectic day here at the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society.
Over a dozen dogs and cats were adopted on Dec. 16 alone.
Before adopting and signing the papers, make sure you're signing them for the right reason.
"We don't encourage pets as gifts unless you live in the same household," Andrea Soliz with the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society said. "Many times people mean well but they pick out a pet without asking."
That's the No. 1 mistake Soliz says you can make.
"Maybe the person wasn't ready and then they are stuck with the pain of coming here and returning the animal," she said.
Because of overcrowding, animals here at the shelter are put down every 72 hours.
However, that doesn't mean you have to adopt to save a life.
"Donating $15 can extend the life of any animal for 5 days," she said.
This means more time for that pet to find a loving home.
If you are still bent of giving an animal, Soliz says you can get one of there gift card vouchers instead.
"You can pay the adoption fee for someone and give it to them in a card," she said. "This way your not only saving a life, you're making that person responsible and giving them the chance to pick out a pet that suits them best."
The Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society says they get about 100 new pets a day.
The adoption center is open M-F from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.