Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Buying pets for Christmas is barking mad

As the festive season is nearly upon us, please remember not to give animals as gifts. Shelters become inundated with discarded, unwanted animals once Christmas Day is over and the reality of having a pet strikes home.

That cute kitten or puppy may chew your clothes or furnishings and 'toilet' in inappropriate places in your house. She or he will grow up and grow old, and may, sadly, develop health problems that require expensive veterinary treatment.

Rabbits - like cats and dogs - need plenty of space, stimulus, and companionship and often do not even like people, contrary to what you may think!

No matter how much you may want a cat, dog, rabbit or other animal in your life, it's vital to assess whether you have the time, patience, money, space and skills required - potentially for many years to come.

If you finally decide you can manage it make the ethical choice and adopt from a shelter or sanctuary instead. If you would like more advice on this or other ways in which you can have a wonderful and compassionate Christmas, please contact Animal Aid for our free information pack.

FIONA PEREIRA

Animal Aid

Tonbridge

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