It’s a common sight in holiday advertising or programming. A family coming down the stairs and seeing a new puppy or kitten (bow and ribbon optional on their head), under the Christmas tree, the newest member of the family.
While this image may be heartwarming, it may not be ideal for most families, which is why local animal rescue agencies are advising Hatters not to adopt a pet on impulse for Christmas.
“We really don’t think that adding an animal to your family should be a surprise, it should be something that is really well-thought out and that all of the family members have discussed and agreed upon, and decided together, so everyone is taking responsibility, and they realize it is a big responsibility,” said Katie Ayres, executive director of the Medicine Hat SPCA. “Adding a dog or cat to your family, they live for 10-15 years on average. It’s a long-term commitment.”
Kaylee Getz, animal services manager with Alberta Pound and Rescue Centre, says the holidays can also bring a lot of extra stressors and hazards for pets.
“There’s a lot of things they can eat or get into, as well as all of the extra added people in the home as well,” she said.
Ayres adds she doesn’t like the idea of a pet being a gift.
“It makes it sound like your pets are a toy, if you’re getting them as a gift,” she said. “A lot of people discard toys after they’re done with them.”
Getz agrees with the decision to not treat a pet as an impulse gift.
“People don’t always see it as a lifelong commitment,” she said, noting this attitude is prevalent with cats. “They have to be prepared for the financial responsibility of owning a pet, that a lot of people don’t think of.”
Ayres says if people really want a pet, it should be a full family decision, to be done at a later date.
“If they’ve been talking about it for a while and believe now is the time, and they really want an added animal to their family, Christmas could be a time of announcing that, but then going together and making sure they choose the right pet for their family,” she said.
Ayres notes the SPCA does not allow new adoptions around Christmas, unless it was already in progress.
Ayres and Getz both say the animals in their shelter will be cared for on Christmas Day. Stockings are set up by every cage, and treats will be put in place for the animals.
Shakespeare can be a little challenging for a teenager, but no worries, there’s a TL;DR version now! Penguin has launched an OMG Shakespeare series (translating plays into emojis) that re-imagines his most famous plays in the digital age, with titles including Macbeth #killingit, A Midsummer Night #NoFilter and YOLO Juliet.
The plays, retold by Courtney Carbone and Brett Wright, are condensed down to terse Whatsapp-esque messages, with characters ‘checking in’ rather than walking on stage and updating their relationship statuses at key moments. ‘To be or not to be’ becomes ‘2 *b-ee emoji* or not 2 *bee emoji*’. ‘Thus with a kiss I die’ becomes ‘With a *blowing kiss emoji* I *dead emoji*’.
The books have been getting a strong marketing push and their own stand in one store stated: The classics can be *sleep emoji* Even with all the *heart emoji *heartbreak emoji* *grin emoji* *dead emoji*. Introducing OMG Shakespeare! Shakespeare’s plays like ‘Macbeth’ now read #killingit and ‘A Midsummer Night’ #NoFilter and YOLO Juliet
‘Never wanted to burn a book before’ @FreddyAmazing wrote alongside a picture of the stand, eliciting over 3,000 retweets. Srsly (short for seriously) Hamlet, Macbeth #killingit and YOLO Juliet are out now, with A Midsummer Night #nofilter launching next January.One of the books carries the dedication: “To all my extraordinary English teachers, I’m sorry.”
A new year and a new reminder regarding adding a four-legged family member to your human family: Always adopt from a shelter first.
There are millions of puppies and dogs waiting patiently for a new loving home at shelters throughout the United States.
It’s definitely getting better regarding the selling of dogs and cats in pet stores. The practice of selling kittens and puppies has almost come to a screeching halt.
The back yard puppy mills and breeders still continue to make a fortune, advertising their cute puppies to ignorant suckers! We can only imagine the living conditions of these cute puppies are subjected to living in before and if they are adopted.
Sadly, there are still kill shelter throughout the United states that have gorgeous puppies and dogs, at a fraction of the cost, much less than you’ll spend from a puppy mill.
The adoption fee includes spaying and/or neutering and some vaccinations.
I love animals from the depth of my soul. I pray people read this letter if they are planning on adopting their tail-wagging or purring four-legged best friends; these best friends who will love you unconditionally all the days of their lives. Diane L. Amburn Waterford