There’s nothing like the anticipation of a pet waiting under the Christmas tree as a gift for your loved one. But have you considered the repercussions of purchasing an animal for someone that might not be able to look after it properly, or if they are even interested?
‘Pets may be cute, cuddly and fun, but they are a lifetime commitment, and shouldn’t be a last-minute present,’ Coordinator Ranger Services Brett Keys 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, just to name a few.
‘The gift of a new animal can be a wonderful thing, but owning a pet is a huge responsibility,’ he said.
‘Unfortunately, after the Christmas festivities have come and gone, many new pet owners find that they can’t cope with the demands of a new pet and surrender the animal to the pound or just abandon it to become a stray.
‘If you are buying a pet as a gift this Christmas, please make sure you consult with the recipient and do your homework before you go out and get one.’
Financial responsibilities should also be considered when purchasing a new furry family member. Desexing, vaccinations, microchipping, council registration and a vet health check are all important steps to take when getting a new animal, which can equate to hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Mr Keys 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,’ he said.
It’s also important to remember that it is mandatory for anyone selling or giving away a dog, to register as a dog breeder through the state government.
If you’ve considered a pet as an option, reach out to Ranger Services on 1300 242 686 and they can help you decide what breed and age could be appropriate for your situation.