The North Otago SPCA is urging people to think before they gift pets this Christmas, as the shelter heads into one of its busiest periods.
Shelter manager Maree Corder also reminded parents that often children lose interest in the new pet and it becomes their responsibility.
"You have them for maybe 18 years," she said. "You're in it for the long run."
The shelter is, however, entering the Christmas holidays on a positive note.
"The de-sexing message is working," said Ms Corder.
The shelter has 14 cats waiting to be re-homed - a decrease from last year.
"This time last year, the place was inundated," she said.
For this week, Ms Corder has dropped the adoption price to $40.
If families were interested in adopting a cat from the shelter, but were travelling away for the holidays, Ms Corder said they might be able to care for them in the meantime.
But she said the shelter must be considered the last option, not the only option.
"Contact us and we are more than happy to help you with advice."
With Christmas comes family holidays and Ms Corder asked pet owners to be prepared with food and accommodation for their animals.
"Unfortunately we do not have a cattery or kennels," she said.
"Water, shelter and food are the three important things to remember for your animal this Christmas. Talk to your neighbours. They may be able to help."
The shelter is looking for volunteers to help over the holidays. For more information, phone 434 8196. The shelter is closed from December 21 and reopens January 7.