TETERBORO — After an influx of dogs were turned in to the Bergen County Animal shelter after the holidays, officials warned not to give pets as gifts.

Since Christmas, 25 dogs were surrendered to the shelter, leaving it near capacity.

“Everyone thinks it’s a great idea to get a pet for a child for Christmas and don’t realize the responsibility,” Bergen County Commissioner Steven Tanelli said. “They get buyer’s remorse and our shelters get inundated with returns.”

The shelter currently has 60 dogs with 30 eligible for adoption, Bergen County Animal Shelter manager Bob Bergamini said.

Raya, a Siberian husky, is one of the dogs waiting to be adopted at the Bergen County Animal Shelter, in Teterboro, Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

The shelter is equipped to hold 103 dogs or 80 large dogs, which typically end up at the shelter, Bergamini said.

Adoption preparation

After an animal is surrendered at the shelter there is a seven-day hold in case someone wants to reclaim their pet. Then, the animal gets vetted by medical staff, vaccinated, spayed or neutered before being ready for adoption.