By Mallory Day 
BELLEVILLE – Although receiving a furry friend for Christmas can be exciting, the Quinte Humane Society  doesn’t allow it.
Tanya Salter, the society’s front-desk administrator, said the adoption rate for pets at Christmas is high, but the organization will not permit its animals to be given as Christmas presents.
“We like to have the owner come in and pick out the animal themselves,” Salter said.
Shelter manager Marja Degerlune-Smith explained that the reason for this is to avoid having the animal returned by a recipient who doesn’t want it or is unable to care for it: “We look for long-term commitment from the owners.”
There is a four-step process for adopting an animal from the Quinte Humane Society:
- Filling out an application to adopt an animal.
- Demonstrating that you are qualified to own an animal.
- A name check by the society to ensure you have no reports of animal cruelty.
- Making arrangements to have the animal spayed or neutered if it is not already.
“The process can take just a few minutes or a few days,” said Salter. “It depends on the animal.”