You will find time and time again that rescues and SPCA's are always publishing the same message about not giving pets out as gifts. Sometimes you even find blog entries like this one about it (or this one, or this one). This message is published time and time again but the unfortunate reality is that the people who give pets as presents aren't necessarily the ones reading it. I have heard of shelters and rescues that make people wait until after Christmas to bring their new pet home however this sometimes deters potential adopters.
The time has come for the Christmas puppies/kittens to start hitting the notice boards, Craigslist, Kijiji, shelter listings and advertisements. Good examples are here, and here, and here. All 9 week old puppies that were given for Christmas to people who can't keep them. If you take a wander into your local shelter you will see all the new arrivals; a fair number will be unwanted Christmas puppies (and kittens). There will also be a number of adoption returns; those people who thought it a good idea to adopt from the shelter to give a pet as a present, only to find out the recipient couldn't (or wouldn't) keep it.
This is a rough time of year for people actively involved in rescue because of the high amount of surrenders coming in that are so very young. It takes a toll.
For those of you involved with your local rescue / shelter ... keep your chin up. Keep fighting the good fight. It's hard but it's worth it.
For those of you not involved with your local rescue / shelter, I encourage you to consider spending a few hours volunteering. Even 2 hours per month is an enormous help.
For those of you looking for a new pet, go check out your local shelter / rescue! In the next 6 weeks they will be receiving puppies and kittens at an alarming rate.