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Are you considering giving a pet as a gift this holiday season? Well, think again. Your so-called act of kindness may not turn out to be very kind for the animal. Here are a few reasons why animals shouldn’t be treated as gifts.
They’re Likely to End up in a Shelter
Statistically speaking, a lot of cats and dogs that are given as gifts tend to end up in shelters. You see, taking care and raising a pet isn’t child’s play. In fact, it’s as hard as raising an actual child. Only this time, the “child” cannot communicate with you, making it much harder.
So, the person receiving the pet as a gift might be excited, but if they don’t truly understand the value of a pet, then it’s the animal that’s going to get hurt.
More importantly, as the one giving the gift, you need to be more aware of the fact that you’re handing over a living, breathing, sentient creature over to someone as if it were a toy. Don’t make that mistake.
Giving pets as gifts to children can look adorable when you shoot the whole thing and put up the video on social media. But things aren’t that perfect in the real world. In fact, not all children like or know how to handle pets.
The charm eventually wears off and children can lose interest. What’s worse is that they can, knowingly or unknowingly, be cruel to the pet. There are plenty of cases where children have tormented and caused physical harm.
In some cases, it might just boil down to indifference, which leads to the animal being left in the shelter or just outright abandoned.
There’s Rarely a Happy Ending
Animal shelters already face a hard time trying to accommodate the many abandoned animals out there. If you’re wondering where most of those animals come from, take a wild guess? If you guessed “former pets”, you’d be a 100% right.
Of course, the reasons for abandonment can vary. However, pets that turned out to be unwanted gifts make up a fair portion of that group.
Once again, animals are not novelty items. These are beings that are capable of experiencing emotional distress just like humans, especially when they are abandoned. So, be kind and think twice or even thrice about giving a pet as a gift.
Having said that, it may not always be a wrong idea. If the gift is to your own spouse, partner, children and more importantly, if it’s something that has been discussed and agreed upon, a pet as a gift might not be a bad idea.
But, to be on the safer and kinder side, just avoid the whole “pets as gifts” concept.