Pets for life, not just Xmas

SPCA Otago animal care manager Hannah Hunsche, holding an SPCA puppy for adoption, encourages...
SPCA Otago animal care manager Hannah Hunsche, holding an SPCA puppy for adoption, encourages prospective pet-owners to remember that an animal is for life and not just a Christmas present. Photo: Greta Yeoman
Pets are for life, not just for Christmas, SPCA Otago says.

The annual reminder comes as many families may be preparing to welcome a fluffy creature into their lives this December 25, but SPCA Otago business development manager Kirsty Thomson encouraged potential pet-owners to really think about the time and cost commitment involved in having an animal.

Cats can live for up to 20 years and some dogs pass 12 years of age, so having an animal was a big commitment that needed to extend past their ‘‘cute’’ baby stage, she said.

‘‘[An animal] is relying on you to provide care for its life,’’ she said.

And as well as the time commitment, the cost of food, vet bills and treats was also something to take into account, Ms Thomson said.

‘‘There are a lot of costs involved.’’

While SPCA Otago did not see much dumping or many arrivals of animals post-Christmas, it was definitely an issue at other SPCAs around the country, she said.

SPCA Otago animal care manager Hannah Hunsche said she had always seen animals as a ‘‘luxury’’, not a necessity.

Ms Thomson encouraged owners to take out pet insurance so they would not be forced to consider abandoning their animals when big vet’s bills rolled in.

 - Greta Yeoman

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