A puppy under the tree? Make sure you're ready for the commitment

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) If you're looking for a special gift for that special someone this season, there are many animals in need of forever homes.

But there's a catch.

Sylvie Peterson, director of Community Engagement with the Roanoke Valley SPCA, says if you're getting an animal as a gift this holiday season, make sure whoever is on the receiving end is prepared for a huge commitment.

“Especially if it’s for children, that they understand the responsibility. If it’s a senior parent that you’re giving the pet to make sure that they’re allowed to have that pet. And make sure it’s the right fit for any limitations that they may have in caring for the pet,” Peterson said.

If you're not sure about making a full-time commitment to a new cat or dog, the Roanoke Valley SPCA has a "Home for the Holidays" foster program.

It’s a short-term commitment where fosters pick animals up a few days before Christmas, and drop them back off a few days after New Year’s.

“They might not know what Christmas means, but just being out of the shelter for a while is a wonderful experience for them,” Peterson said.

Everything is provided by the RVSPCA, and Peterson says many times, people take animals home to foster and end up falling in love. In those cases, animals are adopted.

Anyone interested in “Home for the Holidays” can contact Amber Miller at the RVSPCA.