By Lisa Marie Tabor -
It is commonly said that Christmas is a bad time to
receive a pet or to give one as a gift. Each year, pleading children and
commercials that show a new puppy in a box under the tree and encourage
people to give pets as gifts. As a result, animal shelters and rescue
organizations are overwhelmed with trying to find responsible families
for homeless animals because of the great increase in the number of
abandoned pets following the holiday season.
Many animals received as gifts for the holidays end up
tied out in the yard, starving for love and attention. Sometimes they
are left with no food, water or shelter. Many end up on the streets, in
shelters or are given away to free homes, only to end up in the same
situation again or possibly face death.
If somebody is considering giving a pet as a gift,
realize that animals are an enormous responsibility, both financially
and in terms of what the pet will require. Basic veterinary services
such as vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and annual examinations can
be very costly and this does not include the expense of unexpected
injuries or health issues. Food for the pet also must be considered
because it can be very costly.
Many children who receive a pet are not yet old enough
to understand how to take on the responsibility of a pet. Sure, it is
fun for the child when receiving such a "gift;" however, the person
considering giving one should first realize that a pet will be needing
things that a child is not yet mature enough to give to them or do for
Before rushing out to buy a pet for a gift, please
consider the following as an alternative. It will help save many lives
and also help to control the pet overpopulation that exists today:
* Giving an adoption certificate allows a person to give
the gift of a pet in writing, allowing for the recipients to make that
choice when and if they are ready to take on the responsibility. It also
allows for the recipient to choose the pet to fit his or her lifestyle.
Adoption certificates will usually cover the basic costs, which often
include spaying or neutering.
* If you know a person who is thinking about adding a
new member to his or her family, consider giving educational books, such
a pet care books.
* Making a financial donation to a shelter, rescue group
or adoption agency is a kind gesture. People who are not in the position
to have a pet will be grateful for this and at the same time it will be
helping out the less fortunate animals who are always in need.
Animals are living beings who depend on a responsible
guardian for many years. This Christmas please remember that animals are
not toys to give as gifts.
Go on to Holiday "Pet"
Return to 22 December 2002 Issue
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