Jeffersonville Animal Hospital in upstate New York. "But that puppy could well grow up to be an 80 pound dog some day. This is something that has got to be agreed upon prior to the holiday."
The simple lack of forethought is why many reputable animal shelters will turn you away this December if you show up to adopt a dog or cat -- whether you have your own menagerie at home or not.
It's a double edged sword -- shelters are always full and always looking for extra incentive to find a good home for their critters.
Home 4 the Holidays campaign to encourage pet adoption. But it's a good home that shelter officials want for the dogs and cats, and a "good home" means a permanent one where the family is prepared to care for their pet for as much as 12 to 15 years (longer with some cats).
"Many folks think that picking out a new pet as a gift is a good idea," says Laurie Trenholm of Puppy Hill Farm Animal Rescue in Melrose, Fla. "In reality, it is extremely important that the ultimate pet owner be able to pick out their own new best friend. And some people who receive pets as gifts do not really want an animal or are not ready at this point in time. Bottom line, pets should never be given as gifts."
All the confusion, noises and extra people running in and out at Christmas, is very confusing for a little critter thrust into a new home.
If you know that they are definitely, serious about committing to a new pet, take the recipient to a reputable shelter or breeder, and let them pick it out. You know, that “The Minute Our Eyes Met” kind of mutual bonding.
Any good kennel or shelter will want to hold that pet for you until all the Christmas hullaballoo is over. You just give the recipient a collar or pet toys under the tree, with a picture of the new pet.
Puppy mills and ‘backyard breeders’ do not care about careful picking of bloodlines to stay away from hereditary defects. It all about the $$. If pet shops, and the public, would stop buying these wholesale bred pets, maybe they will quit breeding them. There are plenty of pets in shelters, and foster homes, awaiting a new lease on life.
Reputable shelters just sell love, and your new pet will have been vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and health checked by a vet, that is included in the adoption fee.
Please think ADOPTION first, save a life.
If the pet is not right they can be returned and/or exchanged within two weeks. No shelter wants to see a pet where it is not welcomed 100%.
I just went thrift shopping, with Jay, today.