Vet’s plea: think be­fore giv­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PETS Scott Tib­balls

IT’S al­most Christ­mas, and if there’s one thing you should never give as a gift – it’s an­i­mals.

Vet­eri­nary nurse in train­ing and re­cep­tion­ist at Hands-On Healing Vet in Moss­man Sam Atkin­son says there’s too many risks when it comes to mak­ing gifts out of pets.

There’s plenty to think about if you want to pur­chase a pet for your­self, and even more if you want to give one as a gift.

“The main way that peo­ple buy an­i­mals here I guess is on­line. They’re still al­low­ing back yard breed­ers to sell an­i­mals which is dis­ap­point­ing be­cause ev­ery­body else is re­ally start­ing to crack down on it,” she said.

“(So) they can still pur­chase them on­line with­out see­ing the an­i­mal.

“And then they get them home they’ve got all these de­fects or they’re in­bred. So they’ve got all these prob­lems, and they give them to some­body that may not have the fi­nan­cial means or the time to ex­er­cise them or to look after them prop­erly – and they may not even want them to start with, but be­cause they’re a present they feel like they have to take them.”

The cost of own­ing a pet is high - de­sex­ing and vac­ci­na­tions to start with, along with life­long food and vet costs and even con­sid­er­a­tions like pet­proof­ing your home can add up to thou­sands of dol­lars a year - some­thing not ev­ery­one can af­ford.

“Re­mem­ber also that the lit­tle puppy or kit­ten is go­ing to grow up,” said Ms Atkin­son, adding that pets as gifts were also of­ten in­ap­pro­pri­ate for the per­son re­ceiv­ing - older peo­ple may not have the abil­ity to walk a dog every day, work­ers might not have the time, and many may not have the money.

“If you’re go­ing to do it which I ad­vise not to, just think re­ally se­ri­ously about it.”

One of the neg­a­tive ef­fects of un­wanted an­i­mals is of course, dump­ing.

With the lo­cal shel­ter on the rocks, the end of year and post-Christ­mas surge in an­i­mal dump­ing will be even worse news for the coun­cil and lo­cal vets.

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIB­BALLS

Re­cep­tion­ist and vet­eri­nary nurse-in-train­ing Sam Atkin­son from Hands-On Healing Vet Care, Moss­man, with Banjo

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