Happy Holidays, everyone! This may not be the editorial one might expect on Christmas Eve, but this is an important topic we here at ECPR want to weigh in on.
The holiday season is a wonderful, inspiring time of year. Sometimes we pause and reflect on our initial goals, we prepare for the new year, and often we feel a sense of joy and revitalization. Holiday trees sometimes have very special presents underneath them at this time of year that have wet noses, wagging tails and all the love you could imagine all bundled up in a sweet furry package, so excited for the opportunity to be loved and kept safe for the rest of their lives.
Although the idea of gifting someone with a pet is a sweet and generous gesture, we urge you not to make that decision lightly! You are not just giving someone a holiday gift, but you are presenting them with a new family member with needs, feelings, and the desire to love and be loved for the rest of their lives. Is the person you are gifting this precious pet to able to take care of the animal for years to come? Is the pet for a child who may “lose interest” as the animal grows up? Are they emotionally and physically prepared to care for that animal in sickness and in health and provide him or her with a good quality of life? Do they know you plan to gift them with a new forever family member?
Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE it when animals find homes but before you gift someone with a pet, please be sure they are willing and able to care for that pet for their whole lives. Talk to them about it first, make sure they have their home prepared, that they have supplies if you are not initially providing any, that they have a vet chosen for future medical needs, etc. Spread joy this holiday season, but be responsible when choosing to bring a new pet into your life, or the life of someone else! The pet is receiving the gift too, the gift of a forever family to take care of them and love them always :).