Friday, December 16, 2016

Once Again, Do NOT Give a Living Creature As a Gift

A little over a week away from the holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, I once again implore all of the people who read this: do NOT give a living creature as a present or gift!  This is my usual winter rave and rant....  Any pet - be it a puppy, kitten, bunny, rat, mouse, ferret, bird, spider, snake, iguana, frog, fish, pig, calf, dog, cat, pony or horse - needs a life-time of care and attention.  Care and attention and love.  All three of these things take time, patience, and (unfortunately) money.  There are vet visits, grooming, annual shots, food, treats, toys, collars, halters, cages, aquariums, terrariums, pasture and stalling to consider.
   If you have a good friend or lover that truly loves animals, give a donations in your friend's name to a no-kill shelter, a local Humane Society, or a local zoo.  There are all sorts of refuges around the country that accept donations in someone's name to "sponsor" a specific animal for a certain amount of time.  You can donate to dog and cat and horse and other rescue groups...
   I know a whole lot of people who pass a dog or cat, and say, "Oh, I wish I had one!"  That person usually does not have a pet for a good reason - their job takes them away from home frequently, they have to work odd or late hours, they don't have a "normal" schedule; or they have other commitments that take up their spare time.
   Remember that if you take an animal home, to your home, or someone else's home, as a gift, that you are ultimately responsible for the care of that animal for the rest of it's life.  Believe it, or not, but all creatures form some type of bond with their human care-givers.  Dogs form a pack, cats a clowder, rodents form colonies, and large animals form herds.  If you take a small animal away from it's family, YOU are now it's family and leader.
   If you really, terribly need to give a person a pet, tell them about your need to do so.  If they will accept the full responsibility this entails, then take them to an animal shelter, Humane Society, or rescue center, and let the person who will be the owner/guardian select the pet of their choice...
  Please do NOT give a breathing, living creature as a gift - ever - unless it's to yourself, and you have the time, love, money, and ability to care for it for it's lifetime.

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