Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dogs and cats are never a good gift idea

Straight Talking with Deborah Coleman

I was impressed by the Dog's Trust decision to suspend pet adoptions over Christmas to avoid a large number animals being abandoned in January.

This is an increasing problem and the old adage of 'a dog is for life and not just for Christmas' has never been more appropriate.

So many people dream of the joy of introducing a new pet to the family during the festive season but do they really look beyond the cute puppy dog eyes peeping out from a cardboard box?

After last year, Dog's Trust reported that a whopping 756 people contacted the charity to hand over their new furry Christmas presents within three months.

This is a shocking level and it doesn't even include the many creatures who were probably dumped out on roads or neglected by their so-called loving new owners.

The charity is also urging people not to buy a pet at Christmas and to carefully consider the long-term responsibility of being a pet owner.

The myth that a dog is the perfect Christmas present has to be dispelled and Dog's Trust is doing a good job in highlighting the problem.

Last week, an awareness campaign also highlighted the strange trend of people buying pugs almost a fashion accessory.

Apparently, their squished little faces have propelled them to stardom and their images can be found on everything from department store gift cards to mugs to towels and shopping bags.

They are 'the' dog for any aspiring pup owner and concern has been raised that they are now the most popular breed of dog born in Ireland and the UK as a result of marketing campaigns.

It's a case of - if you want to flog an item, then put a picture of a pug on it and it will sell, which is utterly ridiculous but an issue of concern nonetheless.

In reality we are talking about living, breathing creatures and some people really will not look past Christmas Day when they decide to bring home a new pup or gift it to a young child who has no capability of looking after it. Just last week there were two separate high-profile new stories which broke in relation to severe animal neglect and cruelty.

These highlight the exactly plight that pets could face if they are bought along with the video games and boxes of chocolates.

Enniscorthy Guardian