We have all heard the idea that giving pets as gifts is a BAD IDEA, that pets given as gifts are left abandoned or dropped off at shelters at a much higher rate than pets that are adopted with the knowledge of the entire family.
The ASPCA and other organizations have proved that pets given as gifts actually have lower instances of surrender to shelters than pets who are obtained from other sources. Click Here for More Info from the ASPCA
Of course there are a few caveats. The giver of such a gift should be very close to the receiver of such a gift, such as a parent, a partner or an adult child. That giver should have quite a bit of knowledge about what kind pet the receiver might like, as well as what precautions should be taken to ensure that the new pet fits easily into the household. In the case of parents getting a pet for their children, the parents must be ready and able to shoulder all responsibilities of pet care, until the children know enough to take care of it on their own.