(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Giving a pet as a gift can bring lifelong memories, but for those not willing to keep their new pet, it is detrimental to the animal.

“So I just urge people, if they get a new dog under any circumstance, please give them the opportunity,” said Executive Director of All Breed Rescue and Training, Lauren Fox. “Those first two weeks can be really, really hard [and] it can be beautiful.”

All Breed Rescue and Training is a nonprofit dog shelter in Colorado Springs that rescues dogs from other organizations, provides training sessions, and helps bring dogs into foster and forever homes.

“We can do that rehabilitation or that behavior modification while they’re in foster and then find them their forever homes and then continue to support those adopters with additional training and behavior modification,” Fox said. “So that’s what we do on the rescue side and then on the training side of things, we offer training classes all the way from puppy class through competitive sports and hiking classes and fun things you can do for your dog.”

All Breed Rescue and Training helps dogs find forever homes

When adopting a dog, Fox explained the process of bringing a new addition into your life and the adjustment process for the dog.

“It can be really hard for that dog to adjust during those first two to four weeks and just to do the best you can to help support them, because every time that they get returned, every time they get rehomed, it mentally takes a huge toll on these dogs,” Fox said.

The shelter received an outpour of support during the holiday and Fox shared her gratitude to the community. Information for volunteering and supporting All Breed Rescue and Training can be found online.

Fox also stated that All Breed Rescue and Training continues to need support throughout the year.

“We do see a big surge of donations, both in-kind and monetary donations during the holiday and then as we kind of move away from the holidays, those definitely start to decline,” Fox said. “So just everybody knows that these are things that we need year-round, both monetary donations, in-kind and, of course, volunteers.”

Happy Cats Haven nonprofit rescue center located in Manitou Springs takes in homeless Colorado cats and helps them get adopted.

Happy Cats Haven located in Manitou Springs

Volunteer Manager of Happy Cats Haven, Andrea Jones, explained the behavioral help they provide to help both owner and cat in the adoption process.

“Most of the time or some of the time people need to surrender the cats because they’re having litterbox issues or having aggression problems,” Jones said. “And it usually has something to do with some sort of change in their normal routine. And we are here to help you figure out what that is and how we can modify to make the cat happier and feel safer in their home, so they’re not…displaying those type of behaviors.”

Jones explained how the behavioral help they offer, has helped owners keep their new companion.

“In fact, like last year we saved, we had 40 cats stay in their homes when they were going to be surrendered simply because there needed to be some sort of behavioral modification and we were able to help those cats,” Jones said.

Click here if you are interested in donating or volunteering at Happy Cats Haven.

Two girls play with the cats on Friday afternoon at Happy Cats Haven

When adopting a pet, it is important to remember it is more than a gift but rather a commitment.

“Cats are a big responsibility,” Jones said. “They live up to 20 years, sometimes a little bit longer, but average lifespan 15 to 20 years. So it is a lifetime commitment or a very long commitment.”