Are you thinking of buying a pet as a gift for a loved-one this Christmas?
That is a STUPID idea!
I’m sure you mean well. Giving someone a pet as a present is perhaps a sweet sentiment, but it’s not really fair to the gift pet.
If you give someone a pet you absolutely have to be 100% sure:
- They want a pet
- They are allowed to get a pet where they live
- A member of their family/housemate isn’t allergic to that pet
- They want that specific species
- They want that specific breed
- They can afford to care for the pet
- They have actually TOLD you they want to get that pet.
… And even then I wouldn’t recommend it.
Many unwanted (or perhaps just unaffordable) gift pets end up abandoned and/or in shelters. During the festive season there is also an increase of people just abandoning their pets when they go on holiday or simply leave them at home, alone and unattended. Animal Rescue shelters reach crisis time during the December holidays, due to the shear number of inmates. Many of them run out of food and space.
This festive season, if you’re thinking about getting a pet, rather adopt than buy. Go to your local shelter and find a friend who will love you forever for giving them a new home.
Don’t however adopt a pet as a gift for someone else. You don’t want the poor animal to be recycled and simply end up back at the shelter.
I came across an interesting article about potcake dogs the other day and I thought I’d share it with all the pro-adoption dog-lovers…
Potcake dogs are mixed breed dogs from the Bahamas, especially Abaco.
They got their name from pot cakes, the crust that forms at the bottom of a pot of peas and rice, which these dogs were traditionally fed on. These dogs are considered, by most, to have good characters.
Though some humans still see these stray dogs as a pest, many are adopted by dog-lovers who welcome them into their families. Rescued potcake dogs are highly regarded in the Bahamas.
Many of the pot cake dogs have become celebrities. The government is bringing out four postage stamps featuring potcake dogs based on the paintings of Bahamian artist Alton Lowe. The potcake dogs that will be featured on the stamps are Turtle, Oreo, Tripod and Amigo.
Amigo is another homeless dog rescue success story. He received a Good Will award from the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF), which was presented to him by the actor Alec Baldwin. He was also used in rescue operations following hurricane Katrina. He died in September 2007 after battling cancer. I think this is a prime example of what any stray dog can become if he is given a loving home.
In South Africa, we have no shortage of homeless dogs. Many people do take in abandoned pups, but many more still buy dogs. Please consider adopting a dog from a shelter or even from it previous human (owners who move and cannot take their pets with usually try to have their pets adopted privately through classified ads before taking them to a shelter.) There is no excuse for letting animals go on being homeless and abused.
Read more about potcake dogs on Abaco Life
Pictures courtesy of: Jim Kerr