SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Animal shelter workers said the holiday season is a busy time for pet adoptions, but they see too many people returning pets shortly after bringing them home.

Siouxland Humane Society Public Relations Volunteer Manager, Kelly Erie, said owning a pet is a lot of work.

“If you’re not one that is ready for that lifetime commitment or responsibilities, maybe you’re not quite ready for a pet yet,” Erie said.

Siouxlander Meg Aschinger used to own a dog. Her kids want a puppy, but she said the family is too busy.

“You’ve got to be able to be around and right now my kids are getting to the point where we’re just in so many sports, gone on the weekends, gone during the night. it’s just not do-able for us,” said Aschinger.

Gary Engel is a staff member at the Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center. He said unexpected medical bills can arise when owning a pet. He learned that when his dog suffered an injury.

“She had taken and jumped off our bed and separated her hip and so she had to have surgery on it and that lasted for awhile and then she had to go back in and have a second surgery done,” Engel said.

Cindy Rarrat, director of Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center, said a pet should never be a surprise holiday gift.

“Just because an animal looks cute under the Christmas tree doesn’t make it a good holiday gift,” Rarrat said. “I think that’s a huge thing to say just because caring for animals is an enormous responsibility.”

Shelter workers recommend gift certificates as alternative ideas for Siouxlanders looking for a gift idea.