Opinion: Pets are not Christmas presents

Reporter Lauren Boothby thinks that pets are not holiday presents.
Pets are not gifts. Every January, animal shelters receive an influx of abandoned pets that were unwanted Christmas presents. Pets are not toys to buy on a whim and dispose of carelessly when the novelty wears off.
Please, do not surprise anyone with a pet as a gift.
Adopting a pet is like adopting a child. When you bring them into your home, you become responsible for their care and well being for their entire life. Adding another member to your family is not a decision to take lightly.
The Vancouver Humane Society suggests buying a toy pet instead. According to their website, buying a pet as a gift reinforces the idea that animals are disposable. Adding a pet to your home is a serious commitment that should not be taken lightly.
If you still want a pet, wait until January when the holiday festivities have slowed down. Your home will be more quiet and welcoming to your new friend, and you can rescue an abandoned pet from a shelter given as a careless gift to someone else.
Vancouver is notoriously bad for pets and their owners. Speaking from experience, finding an apartment that allows cats or dogs is very difficult.
The Association of Renters guide estimates that only 15-20 per cent of apartments in downtown Vancouver allow pets. If you’re getting a pet for yourself or someone else, be sure their landlord allows pets.
When I was looking for an apartment in August, the vast majority of apartments for rent did not allow pets.
If you have to move in the near future, where will Fido go? Don’t send him back to the shelter. Don’t pick him up in the first place. Before you buy that adorable kitten or puppy, ask yourself: Am I prepared to be a pet parent? Can I afford to take care of it? Who will feed, walk, and play with it when I’m at work?

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