Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Pets

Photo courtesy of

There are few gifts around that can generate as much excitement as a new pet for Christmas. But before you take the leap, consider a few things.

The holidays are a hectic time with decorations everywhere, people in and out, candles, out of the ordinary foods...well, the list goes on and on. Instead of buying a pet, consider giving a gift certificate to a shelter. Simply put the certificate with the new pet's crate/bed/dishes and top it all with a big bow! When the holidays are over and things have calmed down, the recipient can visit the shelter and pick out their new family member. The pet will have a much easier time adjusting in a more calm, normal environment. Plus, he/she can be the center of attention while everyone gets to know each other!

Now for some no-no's. Please don't surprise anyone with a pet. There may be a reason they don't have one, such as allergies or time restrictions. And even if you know they're looking, let them pick out their own animal (Repeat after certificate!), because the match should be a good fit for both.

Finally, please, please don't buy an animal from a pet store or backyard breeder. There are many good reasons for that advice which I'll cover another day. For now, just remember all the homeless pets patiently waiting in shelters or at animal control for a forever home. If no one takes a chance on them, many will be put to death. And why should a perfectly healthy, sweet, happy critter be euthanized?

Because we live in a pet overpopulated world, where too many people don't spay and neuter. And now there just aren't enough homes for them all.


Anonymous said...

Excellent advice, Pat! I am constantly amazed what beautiful pets can be obtained from rescue centres. I would never consider obtaining a pet from any other source.

The Word Place said...

Indeed, pets don't make good presents at this busy time of year. Animal shelters do a terrific job and deserve all the support we can give them.