Vet’s plea: think before giving
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.
Receptionist and veterinary nurse-in-training Sam Atkinson from Hands-On Healing Vet Care, Mossman, with Banjo