Easter and Springtime is when I am most happiest; which is probably true for every, especially those living in snow belt areas. It’s a time of year for hope, renewal and rebirth; the world just comes alive! Kittens, puppies, bunnies and chicks are the cutest and why not surprise that special kid in your life with one or all? They’re cute and adorable, and who doesn’t love them? What a way to win the heart of that special kid in your life and instantly turn them into your favourite relative or friend?
Stop and think about the consequences, not on only the child, the family and the welfare of the animal!!
Year after year the SPCA is overwhelmed with unwanted kittens, puppies, bunnies and even chicks, sadly some are left in the woods to fend for themselves and really the thought of their survival is more than likely slim.
Sure baby animals are cute and cuddly, but they each have their own personality and needs, just like we do. What was once cute and adorable is now huge, smells, is either destroying your home or even worse neglected. Are the child and his or her family ready for the responsibility? Pets are a lot of work, they need to be cared for, loved, cleaned up after, and taken to vet visits; that cute cuddly gift could potentially turn into a nightmare.
Our little guy, Bandit; you can read more about him under our Creative Team Tab; we rescued him from a puppy mill, he came from deplorable circumstances, was under weight and thin and what we believe was mistreated. In a few short weeks, he rebounded, learned to trust and found his place in our lives, our hearts and home. He is the most cherished member of our family and truly a blessing in our lives. Not only does he give us his loyalty, love, respect and companionship, he gives us endless entertainment value. He is a Bordoodle; half Border Collie and half Miniature Poodle (two of the smartest dog breeds rolled into one). He is our security system as well; no one dare approach the house as he’ll go off, he has thwarted off potential intruders and scared many a postman and delivery person. He has rescued his dad in times of trouble during some health issues and we believe that he’s truly saved his life; he is our hero, our best friend without a doubt, I sincerely believe he has given us more than we have given him in one respect as he’s cuddled with me, given me his love and listened to me whine (I bounce ideas off him and is quite interested in what I have to say), he’s also liked my tears away and been with me 24/7 since he’s come to live with us in his ‘forever home’. Being a pack animal, we’re his pack and his family and vice versa and has left an indelible mark on all our souls.
Ownership of a pet should be a family decision; weighing out pros and cons of bringing another life into your home. Giving them as unexpected gifts could be a burden on the family and cruel to the animal. All they want is to have a ‘forever home’, to be taken care of and loved; which they will repay you tenfold, but it’s a commitment and certainly an expense for the life of the animal. If you or the recipient of your ‘thoughtful’ gift is not ready for it, there are alternatives for gift giving:
1. Why not purchase admission tickets to your local zoo. What a treat that is; an all-day adventure, exploring and learning about wildlife; what an opportunity it is to experience beautiful animals in their natural habitats. (Zoos do wonderful jobs making the animals feel right at home). Most zoos have education and camp programs. The Toronto Zoo (www.torontozoo.com) has educational and camp programs for age specific categories, they also have Zoo School but unfortunately it’s full for 2016; a very hot program! They also offer an Adopt an Animal program. The animals stay there but the child they can visit them and you have the satisfaction of supporting the zoo. You can visit http://www.torontozoo.com/SupportTheZoo/AdoptAnAnimal.asp for a list of ‘adoptable’ animals.
2. Local SPCAs are always looking for volunteers to care for the animals in their shelters. They offer dog walks as well as camp programs. Visit your local SPCA in Canada or www.aspca.org in the US to learn more about their programs.
3. A one year subscription to National Geographic Little Kids is only $15. What a way to learn about animals in bright brilliant photos and stores. Visit at: www.nationalgeographic.com
4. Why not give the gift of charity? Why not purchase a chicken, goat or any other farm animal for a developing country in the child’s name so the child can learn how the animal can make a difference ~ what a way to make a difference in the world by helping end hunger and poverty! Excellent programs to visit are: www.plancanada.ca/GiftsofHope or www.heifer.org
5. Last but not least, toys, chocolates and cash works well too!