‘They might be cute, cuddly and fun, but pets are a life-time commitment – they shouldn’t be a last-minute present,’ Senior Ranger Jaime-Lee Bullivant said.
As the festive season approaches, the Central Highlands Regional Council is encouraging residents to be aware of the ongoing responsibilities and costs associated with pets, including food, training, vet fees and regular exercise.
‘The gift of a new animal can be a wonderful thing, but owning a pet is a huge responsibility,’ Ms Bullivant said.
‘Unfortunately after Christmas many new pet owners find that they can’t cope with the demands of the pet and surrender the animal to the pound or just abandon it to become a stray.
‘This isn’t fair on the animal, so if you are buying a pet as a gift please make sure you consult with the recipient and do your homework before you go out and get one.’
Ms Bullivant also urged anyone looking for a new furry family member to consider adoption first.
‘Our local animal rescue organisation CQ Pet Rescue work hard all year round to save and rehome many of the animals that end up in our pound facilities,’ she said.
‘I myself have adopted animals through CQ Pet Rescue and can assure anyone it is a truly rewarding experience.’
CQPR President Tyneisha Winn said while many people were tempted by ‘free to a good home’ pets, the routine vet work and pet care costs quickly add up.
‘When you get a free pet or purchase one through a backyard breeder, it can soon become a very expensive investment,’ she said.
‘Desexing, vaccinations, microchipping and a vet health check are all important steps to take when getting a new animal, but this can equate to hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
‘With CQ Pet Rescue, all of this is included in our adoption fee which can range from $100 to $350 depending on the animal. It’s also the ethical thing to do and gives these beautiful unwanted pets a whole new chance at life with a loving family.’
Ms Bullivant also reminded new pet owners that under Queensland law all dogs must be registered with council.
It is also mandatory for anyone selling or giving away a dog to register as a dog breeder through the state government.