As you know, I’ve been quite vocal in encouraging people to not choose pets as Christmas presents.
But it looks as though I’ll have to eat my words!
Yesterday the Associated Press reported that the ASPCA is encouraging adopted pets as gifts for the holidays!
WHAT? Are you kidding me?
Sure, we’ve all heard the anecdotal evidence, but the proof is in the numbers, and the numbers don’t play out that Christmas pets are more likely to be abandoned or surrendered.
The ASPCA polled 220 people across the US who admitted to having been given a pet as a gift. The results? The vast majority of those respondents (169) stated the pet still lived with them, 25 of the pets had died, and only 21 of the animals had been rehomed. That’s not much different from what happens with pets obtained any other time of the year.
So the ASPCA is encouraging rescues to adopt out animals to be given as Christmas gifts. And some rescues are doing just that. For example, the Humane Society of Pinellas County, FL, will have special Santa’s elves delivering adopted animals on Christmas! Is that cool or what?
Granted, change is difficult to grasp, and not every rescue group is on board with the ASPCA’s recommendations. They claim Christmas is too chaotic for a new pet. But hey, it’s also the time when people are off work and have time to spend with that new dog or cat.
So I’m eating my humble pie and siding with the ASPCA.
What about you? What do you think about these new recommendations?
You can read the actual study as published in the journal, “Animals,” here.
You can read the AP article on the topic here.