Pets as gifts - unwrapping the myths
Christmas is a season steeped in mythology - flying reindeers and a jolly man in a red suit, anyone?
It’s also a time when rescue myths abound. The countdown to Christmas is a time traditionally approached with caution, and pets given as gifts can be a controversial issue in the rescue world.
But here’s why we should be thinking outside the (gift) box this Christmas.
Studies show that pets given as gifts have the same or even better long-term adoption outcomes than pets adopted directly.
Return rates are lower, and pets given as gifts are loved and cherished just as much, if not more than pets adopted directly by their new owners.
Given that the lead-up to Christmas is the busiest time of year for pet acquisitions, it's an opportune time to let these thousands of pet seekers know that rescue is the first and best option.
This doesn’t mean that pets should be placed without going through some degree of match-making, to help ensure a great fit between pet and person.
But with processes in place, and by having non-judgemental conversations with prospective adopters who come seeking a pet as a gift, it makes sense to support those seeking to add a pet to their families this Christmas.
And, rest assured, Christmas is a great time for a pet to be adopted too. Many people spend the holidays at home, which gives new pets a chance to really settle in, bond with their new family and iron out any teething issues before work and school routines start up again in the New Year.
So let’s not look a gift horse (or prospective adopter) in the mouth. By choosing rescue, their heart is already in the right place. And with the right support and good procedures, there’s no reason to shy away from well-managed and well-matched gift adoptions this Christmas.
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