A new puppy is a lifetime commitment, requiring a considerable amount of research and preparation. Springing a puppy on a child makes a wonderful holiday morning memory, but the reality is that animals need care and attention long after the seasonal decorations are put away. A new pet cannot be put aside as easily as other gifts, yet each year, a distressing number of pets given as gifts end up being dumped at shelters.
"Unlike with other holiday presents, owners cannot just pop in a fresh battery or put the pet away in the closet after the novelty wears off. In nearly all cases, one of the parents becomes the primary caretaker, doing the feeding, walks and all of the other chores the children once promised to do themselves," says Robin Tierney of the Partnership for Animal Welfare.
"Furthermore, 'pets as playthings' is the wrong message to send to children. Pets are living beings that require substantial time and daily care, plus expenses forRead More »from Puppies: The Gift You Should NEVER Give