For many dog and cat owners, having their pets around them at Christmas is hugely important. But for those who go away over the festive period, responsible owners will either get a pet sitter or put their beloved pooch or feline into kennels or a cattery.
Well, that's what they should do.
The Australian Animal Protection Society has made the shocking revelation that an increasing number of pet owners are dumping their animals at pet shelters in the run-up to Christmas.
And if that isn't shocking enough, many even attempt to adopt the dogs BACK once the Christmas festivities are over.
Frustrated with just how many pets are abandoned on their doorstep, the charity wants to shame dog owners into being more responsible at this time of year.
The charity's Vice President Sue Thompson told The Sun: "Quite often people go overseas for Christmas holidays and because it costs so much for kennels, they would prefer to get rid of them."
But while people know that their pets will be safe at an animal shelter, some heartless owners don't even bother taking them to a rehoming centre. Instead, they simply leave gates or doors open so their pets can get out while they are away.
Sue added: "Some people leave a huge bag of food and what they think is enough water in the backyard for their dog, but it can end up nasty."
Overcrowded pet shelters
Other pet charities have also seen an influx in animals handed over to them recently. Pet shelters are increasingly becoming overcrowded with cats and kittens as owners don't bother to neuter their pets.
In the UK more than 25,000 abandoned pets are rescued by the RSPCA during the festive season. Many are as a result of unscrupulous breeders and pet dealers who breed and import puppies to make some quick cash over Christmas and then dump the animals they no longer want.