With the festive season soon beckoning, it can be tempting to pick up a cute furry pet as a “paw-fect” Christmas present. The GSPCA is now appealing to people to not buy dogs as presents this Christmas without careful consideration.
Galway Pulse’s Aoife Burke spoke to Victoria Lyon from the GSPCA about whether a pet would make a good Christmas present.
“Don’t! Christmas should not be a reason to buy a dog. The decision to bring a dog or any pet into your home should always be a long-considered plan. You are committing to an animal for anything up to 15 to 20 years—in the case of some species, longer, much longer. ”
Although pets are an appealing choice for children, Victoria emphasized that it is important to remember that they require time, money, and commitment. With the added stresses that Christmas can put on families, she urges people to reconsider introducing a new pet into the home.
“Christmas is a highly stressful and unsettled time in many homes, and the last thing you should be doing is bringing any new pet into an unsettled environment,” Victoria said.
“Bringing a new pet into your life is always unsettling anyway, no matter how experienced someone is, so heaping on the stress of Christmas and all the comings and goings are just a recipe for disaster, resulting in a confused animal that has no idea what its “new normal” is supposed to be,” she added.
Care and Commitment
For our furry friends, there are a lot of factors to consider when introducing a new animal to the family. There are various breeds that may not be suited to family homes with young children. Animals also must be trained and socialized.
At GSPCA, all their animals are vaccinated, wormed, defleaed, microchipped, and neutered and this can be costly. Costs of care can vary widely, depending on the dog’s size and weight.
“It varies extremely significantly. Some dogs may be in our care for only a number of weeks, maybe six or seven weeks. Others may be in our care for many, many months. Some dogs will need only the basic vet costs e.g. vaccinations, worming, flea treatment, and neutering and they are ready for re-homing after a period of assessment,” Victoria said.
“Others may need extensive surgery if they have come in with broken limbs or pre-existing conditions. They may need months of recovery and rehabilitation. All the while racking up care costs at our kennels too.” she continued.
The GSPCA is over 30 years in operation and has at times had to work alongside An Garda Síochána in cases of animal abuse or neglect.
Although pets make good companions, the GSPCA asks for people to consider other options such as walking a neighbour’s dog instead. An animal is for a long time not just for Christmas and should be only considered when a person is prepared for the time and commitment and costs involved. Not to mention a dog has its own personality and temperament and should be handled with tailored care.
GSPCA asks people to consider donating to help dogs without homes instead of purchasing a dog over the holidays.
Donate by following link below