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  1. This Holiday Season...

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    This is completely off topic from books but I think that it is a very important subject that more people need to be discussing, especially at this time of year.

    This holiday season, as many of us join the maddening dash to find the perfect gift, I would like to ask that this year, if any of you are considering giving a pet as a gift that you give it some long thought and discuss it with the intended gift receiver first.

    The purchasing of a pet should never be something that is done on a whim. Taking responsibility for the life of another, including an animal, is a big decision that deserves time and thought. Time must be taken to consider what animal and then what breed is suitable to the lifestyle of the would-be pet owner. Do they have time to walk the pet, to play with it, exercise it, and groom it? Can they afford regular visits the vet, to worm and neuter their pet, and be prepared to go that extra mile if their pet becomes ill? Far too many people do not consider these issues and as a result far too many pets are abandoned shortly after Christmas.

    Pets are also NOT fashion accessories. I was reading just today about how the number of chihuahuas being abandoned has sky rocketed after the breed becoming fashionable thanks to the film Legally Blonde and Paris Hilton toting one in her purse only for people to lose interest in them after purchase. I was also horrified to read in another article that some people, in the face of financial difficulty, would rather abandon their pet than cut back on buying Christmas presents and holiday treats. That materialism could take priority over the love and care of a member of your family absolutely stuns me.

    This year, one London animal charity is refusing to let people take pups from them after Sunday, December 20. Anyone wishing to adopt one of the pups must wait until January 2nd to take it home. This is a move to stop people thoughtlessly giving pups as gifts for Christmas only for them to abandoned on Boxing Day and I could not support it more.

    If you must purchase a pet this Christmas, do not look to the pet stores where your cute new kitten or puppy may have well come from the cruel conditions of a puppy farm (also known as puppy mills), but consider going to the local animal shelter and adopting a pet that really needs that second chance. Pets adopted from, for example, the RSPCA, will have already been checked by a vet to assess their temperament, and will have been desexed and microchipped as required!

    Please also be mindful during your seasonal celebrations, to safely secure your pet so that it will not become spooked and escape only to be hit by a car or end up in a shelter itself.

    Please, feel free to check out the links below for more information.


    Chihuahuas a 'victim of celebrity culture'
    Don’t buy a dog for Christmas, Isle of Dogs MP urges
    RSPCA condemns pets as presents
    RSPCA NSW Website
    ABANDONED: Animal rescue centre is full and it needs your support Can you give these pets a loving home
    Animal abandonment rising, RSPCA says
    Companion Animals Fact Sheet
    Leeloo Dog Blog
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  2. 6 comments:

    1. Melissa said...

      Yes! Absolutely!

      And I'd like to say that those from "foster" homes in the states (like those in breed-specific rescue groups) are often assessed for temperament and often have beginning obedience from the foster home. Plus, I'd like to say that when you get a dog the most important thing is training. And it doesn't end in puppyhood. Sorry to say all this, but I'm very passionate about this subject and you brought it out well! YaY!

      If it's not too forward to put this here (you may delete if it is... seriously, please do) but I am having a dog giveaway for those living in the states (postage is a killer). It might be a better alternative to have a bit of stuff there for the dog that comes to the house when the holidays calm down.

    2. Terra said...

      I am not at all bothered by you posting the link, Melisa. It's a great giveaway!

      I'm glad that you liked the post. It always makes me sad every January to pick up the newspaper and read the interviews with the local animal shelters and rescue groups reporting the spike in the number of pets abandoned after being thoughtlessly bought/gifted in December. =(

      I totally agree about training. When they say that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks it is so not true. Some of my best memories with my dog as a kid are to do with training him and not just when he was a pup. Training is a great way to hang out with your pet and to keep your pet entertained on top of the obvious goals of training. I am just glad that we have always taught our dog using hand signals instead of just words because he has unfortunately gone quite deaf with old age!

    3. Great post! It's so important for people to take caring for a pet seriously. We call our house "misfit manner" because so many of our pets are the cast asides from others. Our cat Bob (a rescue cat) recently died and we got two more from the shelter to keep our other shelter cat company. We have one dog from a shelter, one that a woman got and just didn't want after a week, and one we found as a starving stray outside a Denny's restaurant. Our two birds were no longer wanted by their owners and even one of our horses came from a woman who just didn't want to take care of it anymore. Luckily we have the room, time and money to take care of them, but if we didn't we wouldn't have them. It's crazy that people are so willing to discard these loving animals. Folks should take responsibility or don't get the animal!

      Sorry I ranted but I hate to see animals treated like something easily discared. Thanks for putting up good advice and helpful information.

    4. This is a timely and important post. Thanks for putting it up. Ditto what Gregory ranted, I mean said. Granted we wouldn't have the wonderful pets we do if others weren't so irresponsible but I hate to think of all the other animals that haven't found good homes. Hopefully your post can help people make better decisions.

    5. Oh please don't get me started on people treating animals like throwaway items! Great post that can hopefully make people think twice, three times, four times or more, about whether or not they can properly (and long term) take care of an animal! I love all of our pets but it makes me sad for those that still abandoned, lost and lonely. I wish I could care for them all!

    6. There's just too much going on at Christmas to make getting a puppy a good idea. We got our dog in January, and even that was a pain in the butt; she took forever to housebreak because of the weather. I can't imagine trying to deal with all of that during the holiday season.

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