Do you know someone who would like to welcome a pet into their home? Maybe you’re thinking about gifting them one for Christmas. In a recent article in People, Deb Fair, the executive director of the PEDIGREE Foundation, offered her advice on the most responsible way to gift a rescue pet this holiday season.
Gifting Rescue Pets for the Right Reason
First off, before we get into her advice, be sure they really want one and you’re not considering it because you feel they want or need one. An animal is not a toy or a gizmo you utilize ’til the novelty wears off. It’s obviously a living, breathing creature that has feelings and experiences emotions. Having said that, let’s move on to Fair’s advice.
“Choosing to add a pet to your family is a very personal decision. Ideally, the person who will receive the pet should be involved and prepared to add a four-legged companion to their family, since each person and pet is their own individual, and finding the right match is really important when welcoming a new pet.”
Skip the Surprise
“It’s best if the prospective pet parent is fully aware of the plan, as well as the commitments and responsibilities surrounding pet ownership before getting a pet.” This bit of advice could be crucial for avoiding surrenders. The last thing the animal needs is to find itself back in a shelter or rescue. Awareness of the plan also gives future pet owners an opportunity to pet-proof their homes, get supplies, or set up veterinarian appointments prior to the the animal’s arrival.
Animaal shelter Recommendations
“Consider reaching out to local animal shelters or rescue organizations for their guidance if you’re interested in gifting a pet. Some may recommend gifting a pet-themed gift basket and then coming back after the holidays to choose the individual pet instead of adopting a pet for the recipient. You could also consider surprising the recipient with an outing to the shelter or rescue to help find an adoptable pet that matches that’s right for them.”
The Perfect Pet
To circle back around for a moment, Fair brought up a valid point, “While gifting a pet may sound like a great idea, remember that it also comes with huge responsibility, and your idea of someone else’s perfect match may not actually be their best fit, so it’s important to include them in the process.”
The PEDIGREE Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue dogs find loving homes for life. Because they recognize there are real consequences for animals given to unprepared owners, they wanted to share this information.
Unfortunately, Christmas and Easter are two times of the year when pets are brought into situations that often don’t last, and most of them sadly end up at rescues or shelters.