If your kids have been working on you to get them a pet for Christmas, one animal expert says you should hold your ground until you have an overall plan. Animal Rescue League of Iowa director Tom Colvin says now’s not the time to give into emotion on the pet issue. He says the Animal Rescue League always encourages people not to give pets as gifts, and if you do plan to do so, he says you shouldn’t make it an exotic animal. Colvin says you shouldn’t pick out a pet without the recipient being there. He says it’s highly recommended, in fact he says insisted on by the Animal Rescue League, that you buy a gift certificate so people can come and pick out the best pet for them. Colvin says you can get caught up in the holiday spirit and thnik that gerbil or kitty is cute. But, he says you need to think about what happens after you take down the holiday decorations and get back in the normal swing of things. He says the biggest thing they want to make sure of is “are the people prepared for the special needs of whatever pet they’re adopting.” He says a ferret is not a cat, an iguana is not a dog and he says they want to know if the people have researched what it takes to care for those animals. Colvin says there are special circumstances required to care for each potential pet. He says that can be the amount of attention they need, the type of nutrition they need, or what to what to watch for if the animal needs to be taken to the vet. Colvin says it’s best to give a child a gift certificate for a pet, then do the research with them and decide on the best pet for you family before adopting or buying any animal.