Pets

Goose McLean, 4 of Encino, gets friendly with a Chihuhua mix during a visit with his parents to the Pasadena Humane Society on Saturday. Local shelters have seen a rise in the number of pets adopted this month. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / December 22, 2012)

'Tis the season of giving — pets, apparently.

Local animal shelters have experienced a spike in pet adoptions in recent days in Burbank and Pasadena, and many more were expected to occur this weekend.

On Dec. 15, when the Burbank Animal Shelter welcomed people to adopt animals at a 50% discount, 25 animals — mostly cats and dogs and a few rabbits — were adopted, about double the typical volume.

“They're hoping to maybe get an animal for their children,” said Brenda Castaneda, superintendent of the Burbank Animal Shelter.

The shelter discounted animals that hadn't been adopted for an extended period of time down to the price of $20 through Dec. 31, which includes the cost of a microchip, shelter exam, vaccinations and spay and neuter surgeries. Of the 10 animals on the list, two huskies, a Chihuahua and a pit bull have been adopted.

Pasadena Humane Society employees also have seen an influx in adoptions. From Dec. 18 to Dec. 20, nine dogs were adopted into homes and five more into rescue organizations. That's in addition to 21 cats that were adopted, along with one bird.

“It's a wonderful time for many families to get a new pet,” said Ricky Whitman, vice president of community relations for the shelter.

Even with an increase in pet adoptions, both Burbank and Pasadena animal shelters encourage gift certificates for pets over surprising people with animals they didn't choose themselves or anticipate receiving.

“We do try to steer people away from people giving animals as gifts. That leads to people returning animals,” Castaneda said.

Instead, she recommended including a picture of a potential animal with the gift card.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.