Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa’s Not a Puppymill

Ah, the holidays, a time for family and friends to gather in the name of religion and tradition. Some folks share stories, exchange gifts of gratitude, attend worship services, while others are on the mad dash to provide a plush puppy or cuddly kitten to some unsuspecting child on Christmas morning. Funny thing is though, I don’t remember seeing Santa’s elves making furry live animals on their assembly line, and I don’t recall Santa stuffing a breathing sentient creature into his bag full of toys to be dropped through the chimney stack and placed under someone’s tree. In other words, pets don’t make good gifts.

Christmas morning is a day of celebration, giving thanks and being with loved ones. Though a puppy or kitten might be a kind gesture to show someone you care, it is not a good choice for such a bustling and busy day. Puppies like to chew on just about anything, so every day holiday items like tinsel, garland and shiny decorations are too tempting for a curious little critter to avoid and many new pups end up at the emergency veterinarian after ingesting such dangers. While kittens like to climb and jump, their adorable and natural behavior could cause the Christmas tree to go tumbling. Dangers such as fires could also be caused by a frolicking critter that accidentally knocks over a lit candle or chews on an electric cord. Certain seasonal plants like poinsettias are also toxic to animals and could cause death when eaten.
Puppies require a lot of attention not only on the first day that you bring them home, but for weeks and months and years to come. Feeding a puppy several times a day, house training (which means cold visits out to the back yard in the middle of the night so they can do their business), constant play time mixed with short naps, obedience training and veterinary care are just some of the responsibilities of long term pet parenting. During the holiday season people are just too busy to take the time necessary for such a needy little fur ball of love.
Instead of giving a live pooch or kitty you can purchase items like a bowl, toys, bed, leash and collar for the gift that is found under the tree. Don’t forget a gift certificate to the local veterinarian and a book about the type and breed of pup or kitten that you want.
A new best friend should be planned by the whole family not a spur of the moment decision and precious pups and cuddly kittens can be found at local animal shelters not only the day after Christmas, but all year round.
On behalf of all those homeless animals that couldn’t be saved and for the ones that have found their forever homes, Happy Holidays and Peace!

No comments: