A Pet Is For Life. No Really.

Posted on December 20, 2012

Reading the news every day, there’s a great deal to be depressed about, though one thing in particular caught my attention, due to the sheer recurrence of the story.

The SSPCA has recently issued a fresh warning to those who would give a pet as a Christmas present this Christmas – because the sad fact is that so many of them end up abandoned in shelters, and even on the streets, as owners find that taking on a new pet isn’t quite the no-strings-attached ride they were expecting.

The Scottish SPCA has announced that they will no longer be re-homing animals during the peak Christmas period (December 20 to January 3), in a bit to avoid even more pets undergoing the ordeal of being accepted into, then promptly rejected from, a new home.

The sheer number of reasons given for returning unwanted pets – late-onset allergies and keeping the house tidy, to name a couple – all fail to disguise the real reason; that their old-timer pooch or moggy is simply not as “cute” in their old age. Furthermore, so many of the people making these excuses are the ones who ignored the plain fact that pets – whatever species or breed they are – require lifelong love and care – not to mention a bit of the loyalty that they give to their owners so freely…

 

Personally, I would love to have a new furry addition to the household, whether during the festive season or indeed at any other time. However, I have also witnessed the experiences of other people when it comes to pet owning, and all the potential hidden costs and time-consuming measures that need to be undertaken just to keep the critters happy and healthy.

However, these people in question have thought very carefully and for a long time before going for the plunge, and have the domestic and financial resources to be able to care for them properly. Cats and dogs can make quite a mess of the home and require endless amounts of attention, and ferrets… you’ll be very grateful for the existence of air freshener if you’ve ever encountered any.

Despite the various problems their pets can have, overall they are a joy to have in the home, and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe I’ll be able to commit to a pet, or pets even, of my own some day, but for the time being, my tiny flat and limited income have meant that I’ve had to put that on hold for the foreseeable future, and restrict myself to cooing and pulling funny faces at unsuspecting pugs, danes and everything in between – when their owners aren’t looking, of course.

To re-cap – if you’re reading this, having found my site by some fluke or miracle, PLEASE do not make pet-buying or pet-adopting an impulse purchase, thinking of it as something that can simply be returned to the store.

If in doubt, leave it till you’re definitely ready.

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