Every year, many organizations publish the message about not giving pets as gifts. Just run a quick Google News Search and you will find thousands of posts about it. I try to ensure I have a post about it. This message is posted 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 some places just don't have the resources available to do this.
I keep hoping that maybe this year, it will be different. There will be less pets given to those who don't want them. The optimist in me says that this year, those who buy or adopt pets at Christmas time will actually commit and want them for the long run. The pessimist in me says that the shelters will fill up and the streets will be full of homeless animals come January 1st.
So how do we fix it? What can we do?? I have a few ideas that you could do in your own local community ...
- Contact the local newspaper and see if they will write an article about this.
- Encourage people to donate to their local animal shelter and instead of buying a pet for that person, why not sponsor a shelter animal?
- Print up posters to put up in your area to show people the alternatives (like sponsoring a shelter pet)
- Donate a few bags of food / litter to your local shelter in the name of someone
What else could you do?