“Pets do not make good gifts.”
The ISPCA has urged the public not to buy or give puppies are presents this Christmas.
The charity has said that many animals given as gifts or surprises during the festive period are often surrendered in the months following due to lack of care or busyness.
As well as this, introducing a pet to a home during a busy time of year can cause unnecessary stress for the animal, especially if they have been separated from their siblings.
“Responsible pet owners understand the commitment involved in owning a pet but in the lead up to Christmas, it can be easy to give in to pressure from Children looking to get a new puppy or a kitten,” said ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly.
“The ISPCA is asking parents to reconsider giving a pet as a gift this Christmas as taking on a pet is a long-term commitment that can affect your life for the next 15 years so it needs to be a well thought out decision with all the family.”
“Pets do not make good gifts and should never be given as a surprise at any time of year,” he went on.
“It’s not the case that on Stephen’s Day we see an influx of abandoned animals. We do see a problem later in the spring and summer months when puppies may have lost their ‘cute appeal’ when they might have started picking up bad habits due to the lack of attention, training, exercise and socialisation.”
Dr Kelly added that the public should also be wary of online advertisers selling dogs and other pets.
“There are a number of unscrupulous puppy breeders who cater for the Christmas market and is important to do your research and have adequate time and financial resources to care for a pet responsibly,” he said.
Instead, he is encouraging people to donate to the IPSCA through their Thoughtful Gift merchandise to ensure that both dogs and cats get well looked after at their centres this Christmas.
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