Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Pet as a Gift? NO!

"Everybody thinks of that cute little puppy just sitting under the tree when the kids come down Christmas morning," explains Richard Schwalb, DVM of the 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.

That's why reputable non-profits nationwide offer reduced adoption fees this time of year, and popular pet food company Iams runs its 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."

From me:
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.

NEVER meet someone in a parking lot to meet your new pet.   You need to be able to see the sire and dam as that will give you a clue about the pet’s grown up size.  You need to be able to see if it was raised in a proper, clean surroundings.

Too many people have bought pets from puppy mills that were sick.  If they had seen the facilities where the poor animals were raised, they would have called the Humane Society or SPCA, so they could be closed down, I hope so, anyway.   
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.

Petfinders has the adoptable pets by area, species, breed, and different shelters.  There is a write up and picture of each pet.  You are expected to go meet the pet, preferably with your family, so that everyone can decide upon the right one.  ALL family members should agree, and preferably everyone in the household should be ready to take on any chores, feeding, watering, and vet bills for this precious little pet, for the rest of it’s life.  It must not wind up chained up in the back yard forgotten.
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.

1 comment:

C said...


This problem is rampant on college campuses. Its so sad!!

You are right. We need to take away the underlying desires and incentives that make this happen. Giving a pet as a gift needs to be seen as a totally idiotic act instead of something cute and sweet.

Somehow pet stores that actually sell dogs and cats need to be something young people grow up to disdain and consider totally uncool.


(Boy this is a topic I could really rant on and on about!!)