It’s a life; it’s a lifetime commitment.
Well, here it is Christmas Eve and I’m just getting around to expressing my opinion about giving pets as gifts of any kind, especially as a surprise. Just don’t! Yes, it looks adorable on TV but remember that’s just a 30 second ad. In real life a pet is a commitment for life and a cat or dog can live for seven, ten, even fifteen years.
My experience volunteering at the WCAC has shown me the bad when it comes to gifting pets. I found this article from The Daily Read about a UK survey that found 1 in 5 Christmas gifts were unwanted – they’re either returned or put away in the back of a cupboard. Extrapolating that to pets who were given as gifts and it is a tragedy. I’ve seen it. It starts in early February and ramps up through March – a face in the kennel and a name on the kennel card that look familiar and an intake number from months ago. Not only have they been returned but you can tell by their behavior that they have mostly been left to their own devices – left in the “back of the cupboard” – unwanted and untrained. No longer looking like the cute little puppy, with no manners and too much pent up energy they become even harder to adopt out. So now they sit in this kennel waiting for someone to see past the damage done by being an unwanted gift. And sometime it ends in the most tragic of ways.
This is Marco, a cute energetic pup when I took these photos. Months later he was back, much bigger and quite obviously untrained and under-socialized. His behavior in the kennel kept people at bay, which increased his frustration. It breaks my heart to tell you that he descended into cage rage and had to be euthanized.
Please, please don’t treat these precious animals as impulse gifts.
Spotlight – Tom Thumb
Now, if you’ve been researching bringing home a wonderful companion may I introduce you to a Pittie who has been looking for his furever family since early September?
Tom Thumb (WCAC ID: 93025) is a male Pit Bull who is around two years old. He’s a strong exuberant boy who will need some manners training. Volunteers have taught him to sit and found him to be very treat motivated. He takes these threats gently – two signs that he is trainable. Tom has had some time in the Dogs Playing for Life play groups, he’s strong and active and needs a family who will select his playmates and not just throw him into an unknown dog park. Best of all he’s an affectionate cuddler.
Stop by the WCAC and visit with this lovable pup. The Center is open seven days a week, except for this week. As staff is taking some well deserved holiday time, the Center is closed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.