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Pets should not be Christmas impulse purchase

Monday, 10th December, 2012 9:30am

Story by Tom Kelly
Pets should not be Christmas impulse purchase
Pets should not be Christmas impulse purchase

The ISPCA are always looking for responsible, caring home owners to adopt rescued animals. With over 15,000 helpline calls received annually this is a fundamental part of their business. However, it is especially difficult at Christmas when well meaning parents give a pet to their children not realising the commitment required in having and caring for any animal. The ISPCA complaint calls increases by a staggering 82% in January for reasons of cruelty, neglect and abuse with many from callers who are also reporting abandoned animals post Christmas.

Since 2007, the ISCPA has seen a massive increase of over 102% in call complaints over the five year period. These relate to issues around welfare, cruelty, neglect and abandonment.

Noel Griffin, CEO ISPCA, says: "Any pet takes time to adjust to its surroundings, Christmas while a joyful time can be hectic and with all the festive activity your new pet can be lost in the chaos. Unfortunately after the excitement of getting a new family pet, the novelty can often wear off, and for an unfortunate number of pets it can lead to them being abandoned. We see January through to March as our highest call volume period. Naturally being winter there are other concerns at play regarding cruelty, neglect and abuse but abandonment also plays a part in the figures" Pets should never be an impulse purchase.

Why not consider the following

1 - Can you cope with the demands of a pet?

2 - Do you have enough time to look after a pet; is there somebody at home during the day?

3 - Pets cost money, food, health, vaccinations etc - plan the bills and ask yourself if you have the money?

4 - Pets, like children, need space! Do you have the space for them to call their own?

5 - Pets can live long and happy lives, so that pet rabbit you got for your primary school child can still be there when your child has headed off to college, tortoises can live up to 100 years! Can you commit for a long period?

6 - Can you get your pet from the ISPCA and help rescue an animal? Then you know you've sourced them in an ethical way.

7 - Pets don't stay young forever and with age can come added responsibility, e.g. health and medication. Will you be happy to mind them when they're old?

8 - Always be careful with pets and children, both need to adjust to each other. Make sure you have asked the right questions when choosing your pet to suit your family.

If you feel that now is the right time, check out your ISPCA re-homing centre as they have lots of animals ranging dogs and cats, to lizards and horses, all looking for their forever home.

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