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The Worst Christmas Gift Ever

Written by Michelle Kretzer | November 25, 2011

The holidays. A couple of months filled with holiday cheer, carols, and snowflakes—followed by a flood of animals being dumped at shelters.

That’s because after the hustle and bustle—after discovering the cute little puppy under the tree wearing a big red bow—come the puddles on the carpet, the walks in the cold, the chewed-up shoes, and the vet bills. So when the kids who begged, “I’ll take care of him every day, I promise,” are too busy playing their new video games to care for their new puppy, Rover is tossed aside like last year’s Call of Duty.

Puppies need a stay-at-home person to housetrain them properly (they can’t “hold it” all day) and multiple walks every day, even when it’s cold and rainy. Both puppies and kittens need lots of patience and understanding, room to grow physically and mentally, and a fat wallet for sterilization and all the shots, wormings, grooming, food, medicine, and toys.

People who give animals as gifts are essentially sticking about 16 years’ and thousands of dollars’ worth of responsibility under the tree. Sounds festive, right?

If a family member or friend is genuinely ready and willing to adopt an animal, wait until the holiday hoopla is over and offer to accompany them to your local animal shelter where you can help pick out a wonderful companion for life, not just for Christmas.

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  • WinterT says:

    @ Rev. Meg Schramm thank you for your posts. You always post very informative information on PETA articles. I am also always in agreement with what you have to say. Cheers to you and Happy Holidays!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I know I posted before, but I feel I need to let people know about a very real danger we face in California that is a threat to pets left in yards: coyotes. A few years back, my niece bought her children a puppy for Christmas. At the time they lived in an area of Riverside where coyotes are a real problem. The puppy was left in the yard, where it was killed by a coyote. If you do get a pet at Christmas, and you don’t want Christmas joy to turn into Christmas tears, let the pet live inside with you please!!

  • Rex's Mom says:

    The best thing to do after the holidays is to adopt an adult dog. That way it should already be housetrained and spayed or neutered. Puppies are like babies and need constant care. You can leave an adult dog alone for a few hours when you have to go out. As long as you give the dog food, water, walks, positive training, and a lot of love and let it live in your house and not chained outside to a dog house, you can get many years of joy and happiness and so can the dog.

  • Ken Dorge says:

    already subscribe to peta ironically should lovely animals as xmas gifts for poor people [to slaughter?] they could be advised that vegetarian habits might ease poverty more effectively than meat gifts which are more expensive and thus less effective in eliminating poverty and hunger, improving health and wellbeing, and saving animals from barbaric human eating habits.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Here are some other gifts I would not recommend unless both the giver and the receiver are willing to put in the money, time and effort required: kittens, birds, fish, rats, mice, hamsters, lizards, snakes, and anything else requiring constant feeding and care. If you don’t know what they want, give a gift card and let them make the decision.