Pets As Presents

By on December 7, 2012
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How precious would it be to have a fuzzy, brown puppy tied with a red, satin bow sitting under the tree on a crisp Christmas morning? Or how about a cuddly, soft bunny or a feisty little kitten, all of which couldn’t be more exciting to receive during the holidays, right? Perhaps, that is, if you’re trying to instill the notion of disposable pets to your family. If so, this is precisely the route you should take.

Often, animals become disposable, as in, unnecessarily re-homed because of lack of preparation before introduction into a new home. Often, pet owners don’t consider their pets as a  member of the family, but view them more like entertainment. In the United States, for every one human, there are five homeless pets. Receiving a pet you didn’t choose yourself is never a safe bet.

Sherri Conners, an assistant director of an animal rescue organization said, “We tell our potential adopters that not every pet is right for every family, and not every family is right for every pet.” Conners also expressed, “Most animals adopted by families who don’t involve all members of the family, such as the husband or the wife, are returned in less than two months because of a contradictive opinion about owning the pet. Most people look for specific details in an animal, such as breed, size and temperament. Reasons behind this contradiction will vary from person to person, such as the activity level of their household or the age of their children. When families neglect to discuss the ownership of a new pet, these concerns fail to become known until it’s too late.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States, animals are statistically proven to be less fortunate creatures amongst the world of humans in that only one in three pets will remain with the same owner their entire lifetime. Considering most animals only live about a decade, this is a very disturbing fact indeed. While our world consists of interests outside of our pets, their existence depends entirely on the love, companionship and socialization humans provide.

The acquisition of a new pet shouldn’t be an impulsive purchase. However, if you’re truly set on giving a pet as a gift, perhaps a simple IOU or handcrafted certificate for the pet of their choice can be given instead. Then, when the time is right, all members of the family can participate in choosing the right pet for their family and lifestyle. There are internet sources, books and shelter organizations available, which are helpful in educating new pet owners with choosing the right pet.

As an upcoming pet owner, be aware of the financial responsibilities, such as annual veterinary care, supplies and foods that are associated with pet ownership. Be sure everyone in the home is agreeable to the individual pet that’s chosen. Also, remember to ensure that no one in the home is affected by allergies caused from pets or pet dander. Preparing yourself before the arrival of your new pet allows you to spend more time with training, and getting to know and love your pet right from the start. From hamsters to rabbits, dogs and cats, and even birds and reptiles, animals have been considered a romantic and sentimental gift for centuries.  Although a common trait of our history, it’s best to educate yourself about responsible pet ownership and the significance of pet maintenance.

Christmas isn’t the only traditional occasion when animals are given as gifts. The ASPCA bears in mind that Easter holds the same destiny for rabbits. Rabbits are the third most common animal found in shelters, but are the most difficult to find adequate homes for where they’re treated as companion animals, as they should be. The ASPCA promotes the Make Mine Chocolate campaign, founded in 2002 by the Columbus House Rabbit Society. The campaign aims to educate the public about the challenges of owning a rabbit and encourages parents to give chocolate or toy bunnies as Easter gifts instead of live rabbits. More information can be found on the group’s website www.makeminechocolate.org.

Animals become disposable more often than just during gift giving holidays, in that Hallowe’en is a disastrous time for pets, especially for black cats. Many people obtain them to use for decoration, demonstration and the sport of satanic practices, only to discard them afterwards. Animal shelters may now take measures to reduce or even eliminate the adoption of cats in the month of October in an attempt to protect them from the All Hallow’s Eve celebrations. Unfortunately, in today’s satanic cult practices, cats of nearly any color are used for sacrifice, mutilation and torture. Through the years, expansion of these practices has transitioned as far as teenagers using animals just for the spookiness of the occasion. Then, the cats are left homeless when the night is over—if the animals are even still alive.

Remember to keep a close watch on your four-legged friends during the months of September and October to ensure their safety of the possible nightmares Hallowe’en can bring. Our pets don’t appreciate the collage of noise: shuffling trick-or-treaters and party goers. Also, keep in mind that animals kept outdoors during this time become a target subject for theft and pranks, which can range from comical to downright cruel.

No matter what the occasion, protect your pets by making the right decisions for your family and for the animals. More information about holiday hazards, general pet ownership and choosing the right pet can be found online at the Humane Society of the United States www.hsus.org.

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