The holiday season is a time filled with festive cheer and carols – usually followed by a flood of dogs and cats taken to animal shelters.
That’s because after all the hustle and bustle – after discovering the cute little puppy under the tree wearing a big red bow – come the puddles on the floor, the dog walks in the middle of the night, the chewed-up shoes and the vet bills. So when the kids, who pleaded, “I’ll take care of Raja every day – I promise“, are too busy playing their new video games to care for their new puppy, he gets tossed aside.
Puppies need a stay-at-home person to housetrain them properly (they can’t “hold it” all day) and that includes multiple walks every day, even when it’s hot, cold or pouring down rain outside.
Both puppies and kittens need lots of patience and understanding as well as room to grow both physically and mentally, and money will need to be set aside for sterilisation surgery as well as for all the shots, worming, grooming, food, medicine and toys they’ll need.
People who give animals as gifts are essentially sticking about 15 years’ and thousands of rupees’ worth of responsibility under the Christmas tree. Does that sound festive?
If an adult family member or friend is genuinely ready and willing to adopt an animal, wait until the holiday hoopla is over and offer to accompany him or her to your local animal shelter, where you can help pick out a wonderful companion for life, not just for Christmas.