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Don’t give a puppy as a surprise gift this Christmas!

The ISPCA has issued a warning that pets do not make good Christmas gifts and should never be bought on a whim or given as a surprise.

Researching the right pet for your household and lifestyle is very important.

ISPCA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Kelly said: “If you are thinking of giving a puppy or any other animal as a present this Christmas please reconsider. Pets do not make good Christmas gifts and should never be given as a surprise. There are a number of unscrupulous breeders who cater for the Christmas market so buyers please beware. Taking on a pet is a long term commitment that can affect your life for the next 15 years so it is important to ensure you have adequate time and financial resources to care for your pet responsibly”.

Any new puppy, kitten or even an adult animal being placed in a new home at Christmas time can be frightening and they may be nervous after being separated from his/her siblings. What a new pet really needs is a quiet, calm, safe home where routines can be established to get everyone off to a good start. The Christmas festive season is really not the best time to get a new pet.

ISPCA Carmel Murray, Public Relations Officer added: “It is not the case that on Stephen’s Day we see an influx of unwanted pets being abandoned, however we do see a problem later in the spring and summer months when pet owners plan to go on holiday and realise they need to pay kennelling fee’s. At this stage puppies may have lost the ‘puppy appeal’ and are growing fast and becoming a nuisance due to the lack of training and socialisation”.

If you really want to get a new pet and it is a well thought out decision with the entire family, we recommend that you wait until after the festivities and visit your local rescue centre for advice or the ISPCA where expert staff will ensure that you and your new pet are a suitable match. Pets adopted from the ISPCA National Animal Centre will be health-checked, vaccinated, neutered/spayed and microchipped and the Centre is open to visitors Wednesday to Sunday from 11am – 4pm daily (Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). 

As a charitable organisation, the ISPCA relies on public support for approximately 90% of our funds which we receive through donations enabling us to continue our vital work rescuing animals that need our help and rehabilitation costs are expensive. If you can this Christmas, please make a donation to support our work here.

Remember if you suspect an animal is being cruelly treated, neglected or abused, or if you see something suspicious, please contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515 or report online here. In case of an emergency, please contact your local Gardai. Thank you.

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