As long as you remember to poke holes in the box, a new pet is one of the best gifts you can put under the Christmas tree/Hanukah menorah/Festivus pole.
A new dog or cat can be warm, loving and teach children the important lesson that there are acceptable places to poop other than the bathroom.
Despite all this, rescue shelters all over the Bay Area are overflowing with dogs and cats of all ages and sizes in need of good homes.
If you're interested in opening up your home (and your carpet) to a new four-legged member of the family, check out this slideshow of a few little guys and gals currently available for adoption. Even if you can't get any of the furry friends pictured, there are undoubtedly lots more at all of these great rescue organizations.