BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Many kids dream of waking up to a puppy or kitten under the tree on Christmas morning. 

Bay County Animal Control officials said many of the animals that are adopted this time of the year are to give as a holiday present. 

“They usually come back by the end of January, or they’ll be back in about three or four months,” Bay County Animal Control Division Manager Kathy Beatson said.

For Beatson and the staff at Bay County Animal Control, it’s almost become part of their holiday tradition. 

“They’ll get them because they’re really cute and someone wants that for Christmas,” Beatson said. “But then when it comes time to take care of it in four months, they’re not as cute as they are ight now. They haven’t been trained. Then they’ll come back.”

Beatson said she’s happy the families are trying to leave the animals in a safe place as opposed to putting them out on the street. However, there is no guarantee that the shelter will have the space. 

“If we’re full, then we’ll tell them we will set a time for you. But if you bring it in right now, we will, you will have to euthanize it because I just don’t have room,” Beatson said.

Beatson said the shelter is very transparent about this and uses it as a last resort. 

“I don’t have anywhere to put your animal then I’m going to you as the owner need to make that decision,” Beatson said. “I don’t, I’m not going to make it for you. I’m going to be honest with you. And you can wait three days and then call us back and bring it in and then we’ll have room for it because our population changes quickly.”

In order to prevent this situation, the shelter urges everyone who got a new pet for Christmas to immediately start training.

Click here for Bay County Animal Control contact information.