ELK GROVE (CBS13) – It’s a common story about how it was the cutest puppy for Christmas – until it didn’t become house-trained, it started chewing everything in sight or it wasn’t going to stay quite as small as originally thought.

And some just decided their pet isn’t as useful anymore, like 13-year-old Honey. Now, she gets all the back scratches, belly rubs and walks she could ever ask.

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“When we brought her in, we were slow to introduce her [to the other dogs], but she took to everyone immediately,” said Stephanie Pryor.

Pryor and her family rescued Honey after her previous owner gave up on her.

“He opened his fence and was hoping that she would get hit by a car so he wouldn’t have to pay for her to be euthanized,” said Pryor.

Unwanted pets are a heartbreaking reality at the Bruceville Pet Hospital in Elk Grove. In just the last week, they’ve had eight dogs dumped on their doorstep.

“Essentially it’s people that are calling saying, ‘You know the dog has to go tonight,’ and as a veterinary hospital and a non-profit, we’re not geared to rehome dogs. But there’s such a need we can’t say no,” said Hospital Manager Teryn Smothers.

Smothers is also a board member for Friends of Elk Grove Animal Shelter. She said she sees an uptick in unwanted pets after every holiday.

“People go and get puppies for Christmas and then realize how much work they are and decide, ‘We no longer want this puppy,’ ” said Smothers.

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“It’s disgusting actually because [Honey is] a phenomenal dog,” said Pryor.

Pryor’s family is just glad they found their furry friend in time. They’re now hoping others will think twice before ditching their dogs.

“It’s really not a good idea to buy a puppy as a Christmas present.  Really it should be something that a family should talk about together,” said Smothers.

“She’s now a part of our family, which is great. And she’s not at that point to be put down so we’re really enjoying having her,” said Pryor.

There are local animal rescue organizations willing to help:

Friends Of Elk Grove Animal Shelter

All Creatures Animal Rescue

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4ever Yours Rescue