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‘Tis the Season for Abandoned Pets

This holiday season, 3 pets will be abandoned every hour. They will be left at shelters, dumped on the roadside, or left somewhere rural to fend for themselves. The reason for this increase in abandonment is directly related to puppies, kittens, and other pets being given as surprise gifts. When this happens families often get rid of their older pet, having replaced them with a new one. Often a gifted pet becomes too much of a hassle and consumes too much of their new owners time and get discarded.

A pet should NEVER be given as a gift. Making the decision to take a pet into your family is something that needs to be discussed thoroughly. Things that need to be considered are:

  • Cost: Can you afford the pet’s vaccines, quality food, spaying/neutering procedure, emergency fund for medical issues that can always arise, flea and tick prevention, deworming medications, toys, grooming etc.?
  • Time: Do you have time EVERY DAY to dedicate to your pet’s care? Walking, playing, training, enrichment, socialization, grooming, etc.
  • Home: Is your home safe, secure, and pet-friendly? This includes having a safe and secure yard free of toxic substances and plants, as well as making sure socks and other small items are kept up off the ground to prevent your pet from ingesting them. You also need to consider if you are willing to deal with some mess and destruction while your pet is being trained.
  • Change: Are you planning any big significant changes during the lifespan of your pet that will affect your ability to care for it? Moving overseas, having children, etc.
  • Family: Is everyone in your household wanting to get a pet? Does everyone have a schedule as to what their responsibility towards this pet will be?

Please, do not give a pet as a gift this season. If this is something that you really want then plan ahead. Talk with your loved ones in advance about all the topics above, do your research as to what breed suits your family’s lifestyle best and research for a registered and responsible breeder (stay away from pet stores and Puppy Mills). You should create a checklist of items you need for the pet, and if you can, ADOPT!

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