Animals can make a great addition to any family – just not when they’re gifted to someone who is unsuspecting and unprepared.
All Breeds Canine (ABC) Rescue Stella Ware has urged all gift givers to steer clear from giving a fur-Christmas this year.
The amount of animals surrendered to the rescue group, based at Jimboomba, is already at an all-time high, and Ms Ware said numbers will only continue to grow over the holiday season.
Already, in the last month, the ABC Rescue shelter has taken in 40 puppies.
“We’re at capacity and there is never enough foster carers, and the strain is being felt across all shelters,” Ms Ware said.
“I would strongly advise not giving a pet as a gift for Christmas, but if you do, make sure the other person is aware of the situation and bring them in.
“It’s important to match people with dogs that are suitable for them, because every person and every dog is different.
“Also make sure that the person wants a pet as a gift, because the amount of unwanted dogs surrendered in the New year is heart breaking.”
During the Christmas break last year – from November 2015 to January 2016 – 1,295 animals were surrendered state-wide into the care of the RSPCA, according to RSPCA spokeswoman Emma Lagoon.
The organisation also received 5,340 surrenders in the last financial year, across Queensland.
More than 2,340 cats and dogs are currently in the care of the Queensland RSPCA.
“Christmas is a great time to visit your local animal shelter as a family and find the perfect fit for your lifestyle; but it should be a joint decision, not an impulse gift for an unsuspecting relative,” she said.
“The RSPCA should be a destination for pets in need, not for those with owners lacking forethought.”
Ms Lagoon and Ms Ware encouraged pet owners to also desex their pets, as well as plan pet sitters or organise a boarding kennel if families are looking to go on holidays.
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