A dog's life...

2006-11-27 13:52
Johannesburg - If you planned to give your child or loved one a cute kitten or puppy for Christmas, think again.

According to the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) such a gift not fair neither to the animal nor the receiver.

"To accept such an animal has long-term implications and it is important that the receiver is informed about the responsibilities," said Christine Kuch, national spokesperson for the SPCA.

Kuch said these gift animals usually ended up at the SPCA shortly after Christmas without the owner ever lavishing love or attention on it.

According to Allison Cooper, liaison officer at the Johannesburg SPCA, they last year received 700 animals between Christmas and New Year.

"We are completely full that time of the year and don't have space for so many animals. We try to keep them for three weeks to a month to find a home for them, but usually they have to be put down after a month."

She said somebody who really wanted to adopt a pet should instead personally go and select the animal.

She said the person also had to be prepared to form a lifelong bond with the animal and be financially able to take care of it.

The owner must also know whether he will have enough time to spend with the animal and whether his home is suitable for a pet.

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