Looking for a new pet for Christmas? It is an all-too-familiar scenario when children beg for a Christmas puppy, kitten, or bunny as holiday presents. Whilst pets are proven beneficial to kids, they should not be taken as just cute presents for Christmas. To prevent this from happening, several animal rescue centres in Germany have halted animal adoption before the Christmas period.
Animal adoption temporarily banned over Christmas
According to Arvid Possekel from Hanover Animal Shelter, ‘The temporary stop is there so that animals do not end up under the Christmas tree, because animals simply are not presents.’ He added that opening doors to pets, ideally, should be the same as welcoming a new family member, and ‘you don’t give family members as presents.’ This led to a ban on pet adoption in Germany’s animal shelters over the holidays starting on 15th of December especially in major cities, including Berlin, Bremen, and Hanover or Lower Saxony. One of Bremen’s larger shelters has closed any rehoming processes until after the Christmas season. Shelters from other cities and regional areas seem to follow such movement.
Shelter workers cited that for those people who cannot seem to understand the reason should probably not adopt a pet. However, for those who sincerely want to have an additional furry member in the family, they should do so sometime in January.
Dogs abandoned at Christmas
Statistics reveal a rising number of abandoned pets in the month of January, after the Christmas season. Amongst twenty-five thousand rescued animals, many have been rescued from cruel abandonment. ‘It’s sadly the case that some of them are abandoned even on Christmas Eve,’ said Gabriele Schwaab from Bremen Animal Shelter.
Christmas pets should not be impulsively given as a surprise gift without first having a serious conversation with all members of the family about the life-changing decision. Know that animals are not inanimate objects; they are living individuals that have their own feelings and needs.
Furthermore, beware of unscrupulous dealers and breeders who have taken the Christmas frenzy as a business. They mass breed and import puppies for the sake of Christmas demands.
‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’
‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas,’ a famous slogan by the Dogs Trust forty years ago, could not be more significant in today’s time. Watch this video:
One of Ireland’s dog welfare charities, Dogs Trust, is on the same page. The charity has noted a significant trend on people giving up dogs in January than any other month of the year. ‘Once the initial Christmas sparkle has worn off and people realise the huge commitment it takes to own a dog, they come into our care. It’s heartbreaking for us to see when it could so easily have been prevented,’ says Andy Clowes, operations manager of Dogs Trust.
On the other side
There may be a large number of pet lovers who have wholly supported the movement; however, not everyone is on the same page regarding the said ban. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) cited that the receiver of the pet should be a willing and ready individual. ‘However, for some people, the festive period is a calm, quiet time and may well be a good opportunity to introduce an animal into the home as families tend to be around the house with more time to spend with them,’ RSPCA said in a BBC article.
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