I repost this around Easter and other holidays when people think it’s a good idea to get someone else a pet. It’s not. As cute as a baby bunny on Easter might be, what happens after Easter? Rabbits live for a few years; they need clean bedding, food, water, and love. If someone you know wants a dog or a cat, offer to take them to the shelter since they will be the one who takes care of the animal for the rest of its life (I had a cat live to be almost 23 years. Although most only live into their teens, that’s still a long time. And once past the cute baby stage, they are usually “put down” rather than keep them alive in a cage for years.)
Kittens look so cute popping out of a box, ribbon around their neck.
And lets not forget the Easter Bunny!
All look cute. All are adorable.
But what happens after the pictures are taken?
Depending on the age of the animal, you might be sticking someone with bottle feeding– every 4 hours! I’ve had kittens so young, I’ve had to teach them how to wash themselves, drink from a bowl, even pounce!
But at the end of the day, someone is stuck with a kitten which will grow into a cat; a puppy that will be a dog; a bunny that, like the kitten and puppy, will need attention. And, most importantly, love.
All will need a trip (or multiple trips) to the vet. Getting spayed/neutered is important, especially when you consider the thousands of animals put to sleep because nobody wanted to take care of them. (And this is just in the USA!)
After all, while a rabbit will generally live 5yrs, a dog or cat can live to be in their teens. (My beloved Fluffy, a Maine Coon mix, lived to be almost 23!)
Who will feed the cat or dog and give them fresh water on a daily basis? Who will walk the dog multiple times a day or scoop litter daily? Who will give hugs, kisses, scritches behind the ears?
These are just a few reasons why giving an animal is NOT a good idea.
Unless you are offering your time and money for the next decade or more, it’s best to go with a gift certificate.
The ASPCA (or the SPCA in the UK) is a great organization where you can get a gift certificate instead of a pet that might be returned. There, your intended can choose their own pet. And, the ASPCA includes shots, spay/neutering, and others necessary info your new pet owner will need. Or, the gift certificate can be used as a donation to this wonderful organization.
Instead of giving a cute animal to someone, give them the choice. This way, we can reduce the number of cats, dogs, rabbits, etc, who are put to sleep each year because they grew up and were no longer “cute”, or whatever reason is given: all of them mean yet another unwanted animal.