Pets have been given as presents for years. A bunny or chick for Easter, a puppy for Christmas, and kittens for birthdays, are all inappropriate. Of course giving a little kitten to a child is sure to bring them joy. But, what happens to these pets later on? Thousands of pets are given every holiday, and even though their intentions were good, the outcome often isn’t. So why is it so many people think a new pet is a perfect present?
Lets face it, you can find puppies, kittens, and all sorts of critters rather inexpensively, and sometimes even free. Even those who buy pets from breeders, and pet stores at top dollar prices, often do it for the wrong reasons. Reasons like, their child ask for it, or the animals was just so cute, are very wrong reasons to buy a pet. The fact is, even a free pet cost hundreds, to thousands of dollars a year to raise. Expenses like food, medications, vet bills, bedding, and training aids, go un-thought of. Another consideration that is often times neglected, is the responsibility of the animal. Who is going to play, feed, wash, clean up after, and train the animal? That adorable little irresistible face, might end up unwanted after all.
I was walking around my local ASPCA last February, when I couldn’t help but notice the abundant amount of animals looking for new homes. There must have been at least 100 dogs, and just as many young kitties. Amazingly there was also several hamsters, birds, a few horses, and even a snake. Most of these animals started out as a Christmas present. and for one reason or another things just didn’t work out for them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t only the ASPCA that was experiencing over crowding, my local county shelter was the same way. Sadly county shelters do put animals down for one reason or another. I was curious about the animal situation, so on a hunch, I checked my local shelters online a few weeks after Easter, and sure enough there was plenty of bunnies, and young chicks to choose from. Why would anyone by a chick (baby chicken) as an Easter present, if they live in the city? Maybe, the fact that you can buy these chicks at local feed stores for less then $1.00 each has something to do with it. Chicks are so adorable, with their yellow fuzzy bodies, but they grow up to be chickens.
Lets say the person who is asking for the animals is responsible, and will take good care of the pet. Maybe the family is really ready for that new puppy. Is it alright then to give one as a gift? In my opinion no, it is not. You see. each animal has it’s own personality. I received a puppy as a gift with I was young, but for some reason she liked my dad better. My puppy only played with my dad, she followed him everywhere, cried when he left for work, and sleep at the foot of his bed. With this being said, it is best that the person who wants the new pet picks it out themselves. You can pay for the pet, if you want it to be a gift.
Paying for an animal that a loved one picks out is nice, but it’s really not a surprise is it? There is an easy way to solve this problem. Instead of giving an animal, buy a food bowl, some food, toys, and other things the pet may need. You can wrap these items up, or make a gift basket with them. Write a note, or tell the person that your going to take them to pick out a new pet to go with the supplies. But again, only do this if your 100% sure that the person is ready to accept the responsibilities of a new pet. For Christmas, and other Holiday pets ask the person to wait a few weeks, and check your local shelters. Explain to them that by adopting a unwanted animal, they will be giving them a second chance. If the person is really ready to take on a pet, they will understand.
This article my seem ridiculous to some, but if we can keep one animal out of a shelter, or off the streets, then it is all worth while.
For Christmas, and other Holiday pets ask the person to wait a few weeks, and check your local shelters.