A Pet is For Life, Not Just For Christmas, Says RSPCA WA
RSPCA WA is warning people against impulse purchasing a pet this Christmas – whether as a gift for someone else or for their own family.
Pets generally require a commitment of 12-15 years, and some even longer, so people need to take their short and long-term family circumstances into consideration before making the big commitment.
Pets given as unwanted or surprise Christmas gifts can end up being abandoned weeks or months later.
In the 2017-18 financial year, 950 animals were surrendered to RSPCA WA.
These animals were surrendered for a variety of reasons – but for many it was because their owner couldn’t afford vet care.
People considering welcoming a furry, feathered or finned new friend should do their research. They should find out as much as possible about the type of animal they’re looking to get – paying particular attention to the level of care required and the costs involved.
For people who have carefully considered the idea of bringing a pet into their home, Christmas can be an ideal time to welcome an animal companion, as holidays provide more time to bond.
RSPCA encourages anyone looking for a new pet to consider the rewarding experience of adopting an animal from RSPCA or another reputable animal rescue organisation.
RSPCA WA Executive Manager Community Engagement Maree Daniels:
“With many people having time off work over Christmas, it can actually be a great time to welcome a pet, as there’s extra time for them to settle in and bond with you.
However, getting a pet is a big responsibility and should never be an impulse purchase.
A dog, for example, requires a commitment of about 15 years. That doesn’t mean after a couple of years you say, ‘I don’t want that animal anymore’ – they should be part of the family.
There’s also more to owning a pet than simply meeting their needs for food and shelter. You need to exercise them daily, take them to training and provide mental stimulation to keep them happy.
Pets also need to be protected from parasites and disease, taken for regular vet check-ups and covered by adequate pet insurance.
Pets are living, breathing and sensitive creatures and should never be treated as objects.
If you don’t know what to buy the animal lover in your life for Christmas, why not make a donation on their behalf to an animal welfare or rescue organisation?”