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Take them off the Christmas list – why pets aren’t presents

As the countdown to Christmas begins, SPCA wants to remind New Zealanders that the cutest pets don’t make good presents.

While the idea of giving a sweet kitten or puppy for Christmas might seem like a good idea, it’s an unfortunate reality that some of these animals might end up unwanted and unloved by a person who never planned for them.

“When you’re thinking of opening your life and home to an animal, you need to carefully consider the long-term commitment you’re making,” says Andrea Midgen, SPCA CEO.

Pets should always be a considered, family-wide and educated decision, taking into account lifestyle, needs of a pet, and costs like dog registration, food, vet bills, and pet insurance.

The summer months are the busiest time of year for SPCA, where thousands of animals across New Zealand are looking for their forever homes with people who are prepared to commit to them for as long as they live.

SPCA only adopts animals out to owners following checks that they have the time and resources to look after pets properly, to prevent animals being surrendered to the shelter.

“Families who are thinking of adopting a new family member should take this as an opportunity to visit SPCA together, and speak to our team about which animal would suit their needs,” says Andrea.

“We understand that people who want to give pets as gifts invariably have good intentions, but it is unfair to give an animal to anyone unless you are absolutely certain that the person wants that particular animal as a companion and is willing and able to give a lifetime of proper care.”

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