Residents advised to think before giving pets as presents

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Animals are not just for Christmas, South Canterbury animal welfare organisations are reminding residents.

SPCA South Canterbury manager Barry Fairbrother said anyone considering buying an animal as a Christmas gift should think about whether the recipient was up to looking after and paying for a pet.

“It’s a nice thought but .. it’s a long-term commitment.”

The SPCA often had an influx of dogs aged between 12-18 months old that people might have bought as puppies before realising they were not up to looking after them, he said.

While people giving up animals was not desired, Mr Fairbrother was pleased owners were signing their dogs over to the SPCA to be rehomed rather than abandoning them.

Streets Cats South Canterbury spokeswoman Karen Sole said the stray cat rehoming organisation encouraged similar thinking from people about buying pets as presents.

She encouraged anyone buying pets for family members or friends to make sure the person was able to care for an animal, as well as checking the animal was desexed and vaccinated before they received the pet or that the new owner was able to afford the cost of desexing and vaccinations themselves.

“It’s not a short-term thing.”

Mrs Sole said anyone gifting an animal to a child also needed to check with the child’s parents beforehand.

Street Cats was “very busy”, with the kitten season under way and “on par” with last year.