The image of delighted children playing with their adorable new dog or cat on Christmas morning is pure Norman Rockwell. But is it a good idea?
Perhaps not, some Sacramento animal rescue groups are saying today.
But why not? Lots of reasons probably, but here are just a few – I wanted a dog not a cat, I don’t like dogs, I don’t like cats, I think hamsters are icky, I want a Siamese cat instead, I want one that will cuddle instead of running around, I want one that runs around instead of cuddling, I think they’re too much work, I can’t afford pet/vet care, I like other people’s animals but don’t want one of my own, I don’t like picking up poop or cleaning a box, I want one that doesn’t bark so much, I want one that barks more or….I don’t actually like animals very much.
Giving someone a live animal sounds wonderful, but the reality isn’t always a great thing for the animal or the new pet owner.
For the animal, moving into a new place with new people is a wonderful but stressful event in any case. Add to that the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and it can upset and change the behavior of the sweetest aniaml in the world.
For the people, if the match isn’t right or if the recipient doesn’t actually want a pet, things can go south pretty quickly.
(Just ask all of the little chicks and bunnies that were given as gifts last Easter, and were turned in to overcrowded shelters a week later.)
Instead of buying an animal to give as a present, Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and HART animal rescue suggest getting a gift certificate instead.
The animal shelters for Sacramento City, Sacramento County and the City of Folsom also encourage holiday shoppers to come to them for gift certificates.
Depending on the shelter, certificates could be issued for an adoption, a service or just for a particular dollar amount.
Know several people who want to contribute towards a larger gift for someone special? They can each buy a dollar-amount gift certificate that will combine to get the recipient what they want. This can be a great option for someone who already has their perfect pet.
Cindy Walden, Animal Services Officer for the City of Folsom shelter, says that a certificate could even be “for a rabies vaccine ($5.00) or microchip ($20.00) at our monthly clinic “.
Dollar-amount certificates can also be redeemed for any items a shelter may sell (such as logo shirts, books or calendars); check out Homeward Bound’s “Golden Mall” for some great examples.
For the sake of the people and animals involved, all regular adoption guidelines and screening done by the shelter still apply when gift certificates are used.
For contact information on these shelters and rescue groups:
- City of Sacramento Animal Shelter, click here
- City of Folsom Animal Shelter – Call 916-439-2268 or email email@example.com
- HART Animal Rescue – Call 916-730-7814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue, click here
- Sacramento County Animal Shelter, click here
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