Cautionary tale in present pets

MEGAN MILLER
Last updated 07:59 18/12/2012
south canterbury spca kitten
NATASHA MARTIN/ Fairfax NZ
CHRISTMAS KITTENS: The South Canterbury SPCA has a number of animals looking for lifelong homes this holiday season.

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The South Canterbury SPCA typically sees a few special Christmas pet adoptions when gift-giving season rolls around, says administrator Angela Fairbrother.

"You do get parents who will come in and decide to get a pet for a child," she said.

The holiday-inspired adoptions typically amounted to about three or four each year. It was a great way to give a gift and also provide an animal with a much-needed lifelong home.

But there's a cautionary tale here, too - if you're going to give someone a pet as a present, make sure they actually want it and are able to care for it properly.

The SPCA takes in animals each year that were unwanted gifts.

At least one or two animals are surrendered to the organisation annually for that reason, Ms Fairbrother said. In many cases, it's an animal given to an elderly person as a companion, that proved too much to handle.

"A cat or dog is a gift that's a 10-year commitment, or longer," she said.

There's also a lifelong cost associated with caring for a pet, including food, veterinary bills and registration fees.

Cats and kittens can be adopted for a $140 fee from the SPCA which have been vet checked, desexed, wormed, microchipped, had at least one vaccination, and treated for fleas.

Dogs and puppies can be adopted for a $240 fee, and have been desexed, microchipped, vet checked, vaccinated, wormed and flea treated. Dog registration is an additional cost and required by law. For more information, contact the SPCA on 03 688 2234.

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- The Timaru Herald

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