NEEDY Paws and Griffith City Council are reminding residents giving pets as Christmas presents can be a great idea, but requires long-term commitment and care.
They might be cute and cuddly on Christmas Day, but pets need care and attention beyond the Christmas period reminds Ken Rebetzke from Needy Paws.
Mr Rebetzke said the number of abandoned pets usually increases between February and March as the novelty of a new puppy or kitten wears off.
“Pets should never be given as surprise presents because people might not want them and pets are a commitment for at least 15 years,” Mr Rebetzke said.
“It is okay to give a pet as a present so long as you have thought about it and talked to the owners to be or parents.”
Mr Rebetzke urges residents to rescue their pets from shelters over purchasing from pet shops.
New pet owners are also advised to microchip and vaccinate their pets.
Council’s Acting Compliance Coordinator Anthony Napoli said deciding to get a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly and residents need to be prepared for the ongoing responsibilities and costs.
“Buying or adopting a new pet is a life choice, sometimes people get caught up in the moment and then realise they cannot spare the time needed to look after a pet,” he said.
“There is often the situation where pets are purchased as a present for relatives or friends who do not want them or find the pets unsuitable - the only time you should buy a pet for someone is if they have chosen the animal themselves and you are simply buying it for them.”
Mr Napoli said a new pet can be rewarding but anyone thinking of purchasing a pet should take into consideration all factors when adding a fury friend to their family.
“If you are considering adding a pet to your family this holiday season, make sure you consider matching the breed of dog to your lifestyle,” Mr Napoli said.
“If you don’t think you can manage a new family member long term, please do not buy or adopt a pet – pets are for life, not just for Christmas.”