I Am Not Just For Christmas

by SOS Algarve Animals on December 11, 2012

Every year, so sadly, we receive the expected phone call, I am looking for a puppy for my…..I am looking for a kitten for my…… These phone calls even arrive late on Christmas Eve, as if they could not find anything in the store and now a re scue pet seems as good an idea as any.

Stop, right there, the answer is no. Because every year, so sadly, we find these puppies and kittens. A little puppy tied to the tire of a car in the parking lot of Faro Forum on December 21. A little puppy hiding under the rubbish bins on December 26th. And that is not where the problem ends….. 

Poor little Natal, just after being found tied to a tree in the parking lot of Faro Forum on December 21, he was exhausted. He is now all grown up and happily living with his forever family who together decided he was the right new addition to their family.

There is a movement in rescue, up and down, and sadly when it is busiest, when most animals are abandoned, is partly due to the problem of unwanted christmas presents. April, May and June are always difficult months, with so many sad animals abandoned. And guess what, the majority of these abandoned cats and dogs are all young, around six to eight months, and that makes them…. the perfect age to have been a puppy or kitten sitting under a Christmas tree.

Little Fofinha, found December 26th under the rubbish bins, she is all grown up and living with her forever family, and again the whole family made the decision to adopt Fofinha together.

And even if this is a well thought out decision of the adults, giving a surprise puppy or kitten to your children for Christmas is still not a good idea. It is already teaching them that the animal is a material thing, not a creature with its own needs. An animal is not a present. An animal is a true responsibility. The animal will be a member of your family for many years to come, he or she will need love and care every day of the year. 

So if you decide you want to give your children a puppy or kitten as their Christmas present, and it has been well discussed, then there are so many better ways to do this. Perhaps put a dog bed under the Christmas tree, tell them when you are going to go together to meet and choose your new pet. There is so much to be learnt from even the process of adopting an animal, and it can only be of benefit to everyone, child or adult, to be a part in making the decision. 

But if you are reading this post you probably already know this. Please try and share this information, educate, and if you hear of anyone talking about surprise pets for Christmas…tell them No! No! No! and why…..

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