16 December, 2023
‘Please don’t gift puppies’
With the glee, joy and magic of the holidays approaching, people are starting to think about what presents to buy for their loved ones.
There is one gift , however, which remains a big no-go: puppies.
Always a favourite, especially to children, these adorable little fluff balls unfortunately often end up getting put in shelters and given up for adoption shortly after the holidays, when people notice they require a lot more time and commitment than initially thought.
RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Emma Lagoon said February, March and April had an increase in surrenders.
“Pets are family and should be a family decision, not a surprise gift or impulse buy this Christmas,” Ms Lagoon said.
Due to the yearly trend of high surrenders soon after, Southeast Queensland K9 Rescue rejects adoption applications indicating the pet is due to be a Christmas present.
SEQ K9 Rescue president Lisa Barton said, “People wanting to adopt for the right reasons will adopt at any time of the year.”
RSPCA and SEQ K9 Rescue have seen an increase in surrenders during the past year, due to the increased cost of living, housing crisis and dealing with the fallouts of Covid adoptions.
The most common surrender reasons cited to RSPCA are financial hardship, while Ms Barton cited people suddenly not having time for their pets.
“Probably 80 per cent of the time the reason for surrendering is ‘we don’t have enough time to spend with it and it deserves a better life’,” Ms Barton said.
“We warn people over and over and over of how much time dogs, and especially puppies, require and people always agree and say they understand and are committed, only to decide some time later that they actually don’t have the time once routine settles back in, and the animals start misbehaving.”
RSPCA and SEQ K9 Rescue urge people to meet their prospective pets first to ensure they will be the right fit for that household, with adoptions team being able to assist in matching animals with the likes, dislikes and lifestyles of their new owners.
“Pets are for life, and they are a lifelong commitment. That needs to be the very first consideration for anyone looking to adopt a pet or buy a pet,” Ms Lagoon said.