If all you want for Christmas is a pet, think carefully
  • Monday 23 November 2015
pets, dogs, christmas

It’s Christmas morning, you’ve been planning this for weeks, and now you can’t wait to see the look on the kids’ faces when they find the puppy under the tree.

The first day is full of fun and excitement for everyone in the family, the first weeks are filled with play, cuddles, walks, puppy school and more. Then, the excitement starts to wear off, the kids go back to school, you’re back at work and the puppy, growing very quickly, is left home. It’s new family is suddenly too busy to take proper care of it.

Sadly, this story is all too familiar for animal refuges across the Coast, with the three months after Christmas some of the busiest for refuges receiving unwanted pets that had been given as gifts.

Sunshine Coast Council Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said giving a pet as a gift was a huge decision, whether for your own family or for someone one else, it should be thoroughly researched, planned and the recipient should be involved.

“If you’re considering giving someone a pet for Christmas please make sure you involve them in the process, don’t make it a surprise,” Cr McKay said.

“While kittens, puppies and other pets are very cute, they are also a huge responsibility for the owner.

“Pets rely on their owners for everything from food, health care and shelter, to love and interaction, so it’s important to make sure the recipient of the gift is prepared for the financial and time commitment required.

“It’s also important to make sure that they have the appropriate set up at home to properly care for the pet.”

If you have researched, planned and decided you are ready to get a dog or cat this Christmas, then please consider adoption from one of the Coast’s animal refuges.

Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge Manager Penny Brischke said they had lots of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies ready and waiting to find a new home.

“Many of these pets were surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them or who hadn’t done their research and weren’t prepared for the commitment,” Ms Brischke said.

“We would love to help you find the perfect pet for your family, that’s why our focus is on matching the needs of the pets with your circumstances and lifestyle.

“The great thing about our pets is they are all registered, up-to-date with vaccinations, de-sexed, micro-chipped, and they have undergone a health and temperament assessment.”

To find out more about responsible pet ownership, including registration and micro-chipping, visit council’s website.

For further information on pet adoption contact Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge (SCARS) on 5494 5275 or visit their website www.sippycreek.com.au. SCARS is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 1pm.