This Christmas the RSPCA is urging people to remember that pets aren't toys - they are important members of thousands of Australian families. A pet can be a joy but they are a big responsibility not to be taken lightly.
Too often, the RSPCA is left with the aftermath of impulse purchases. Last year the RSPCA accepted 161,994 animals from the community. These are animals that were surrendered, abandoned, stray, neglected or abused. Our shelters worked hard to find new homes for as many as possible, but sadly, over 23,000 dogs and 43,000 cats had to be euthanased.
Sometimes the holiday period can be a good time to adopt a pet because you have plenty of time to help them settle in while the whole family is at home. But please don't surprise people with a pet for Christmas. Don't buy your children a pet unless the whole family has made the big decision to welcome a pet into the household.
If you do decide you have room for a pet in your life then consider adopting from an RSPCA shelter first, that way you are not only giving an animal a second chance but we can match you with the perfect pet for your family.
If you are planning to give your children a pet for Christmas please take great care when making your decision.
Here are some points to consider:
Last year the RSPCA accepted 161,994 animals from the community.
- Who will walk your pet daily?
- Who will feed your pet at regular times every day?
- Who will brush, wash and tend to your pet?
- Will your pet be played with regularly?
- Is it possible for you to take your pet to the vet when needed? Do you have a car or is their a vet in walking distance?
- Can you afford a pet? They can be expensive!
- If you move will you be able to take your pet with you?
- If you are renting are you allowed a pet at your property?
- If you go on holidays will you be able to arrange appropriate pet care?
- Will you be able to afford boarding for your pet if you go away?
- Are your children ready for a pet? Small children need to be supervised with pets, and older children shouldn't be solely responsible for a pet's welfare.
Visit your local RSPCA shelter where they can provide you with advice and suggestions. For more information have a look at the RSPCA website. They even have a great kids' section including information about how to join the Paw Prints Club - the club for kids who love animals!
Also check out the RSPCA's Adopt a Pet website where you can choose from cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, chickens and horses to name but a few. You can also specify that the pet gets along with children and other animals.
Please remember that pets aren't toys. They are a life-long commitment but given the chance, they will love you for life.
Discuss pets with Essential Kids members.