Hi every one, it’s Christmas today! I hope that your Christmas will be filled with fun, good food, great company and plentiful presents! I also hope that you’ve got your little friend something special (and hopefully healthy! But I’m not here to preach about healthy treats today!).
It is Summer and Nibble’s 2nd Christmas and this year, I have got them some apple and blackcurrant leaves and twigs and apple cookies. Gin, our cat is on his 8-9th Christmas and Cookie, on his 2-3rd, not too sure about his age. My rabbits certainly like our tree and the surrounding presents as they spent most of their playtime hanging out under it. Maybe they felt safer that way. Nibbles spent quite some time rolling whilst Summer cleaned up his face. I’ve got some photos here, unfortunately they were taken with my Blackberry mobile, therefore of poor, poor quality. Still, you get the idea!
While for many, this is a time of celebration and happiness, that’s not always the case for many pets. It is unfortunate that every year the same problem arises for many animal charities and that this is possibly one of the busiest times of the year for them. Abandoned animal numbers skyrocket during this festive season as misinformed people with good intentions buy animals as gifts for others. The recipient of this live gift may not be crazy about the animal, might not be able to care for it or meet its needs, or after some time, may not want to put in the effort to look after a pet. These pets are either handed into a shelter, if they are lucky or thoughtlessly left to fend for themselves in the hostile winter weather.
The saddest thing is that most people receive baby animals. Baby animals have no way of surviving on their own in good conditions, let alone in the dead of winter so when they are dumped into cardboard boxes and left in some public place, they are doomed unless someone hears their cries and investigates. Many Christmas pets turn into unwanted animals so you can see how animal shelters might be overworked over this season.
Already, RSPCA has rescued over 350 animals; this is just one charity out of many and counting only the ones that got rescued! RSPCA talk briefly about two of their rescues, Hero the Rottweiler and Angel the 8-week old kitten at this link. Unwanted presents are not the only reason for abandonment, the problems many people have with their finances have also lead to many animals crowding up shelters. RSPCA have even closed their centres this winter so that people do not adopt pets from the shelter as a form of present for other members of the family (BBC). Hopefully schemes like this will aid shelters in reducing the number of animals left in the cold.
For many volunteers, Christmas is a busy day since animals still need to be fed, watered and loved. Working in a cattery, I have some understanding of Christmas for those in the animal sector. To all those hard workers in animal shelters and charities, a merry Christmas to you all!
To all of the rest of you, have a watch of this video on the BBC which shows you some of the cute (and the variety of) animals that get picked up by the RSPCA! If you find yourself receiving a pet you cannot keep, whatever the circumstances, please, please hand it into a reputable animal rescue which does not put down a healthy animal! Have a great Christmas!
Sources: RSPCA. (2012). First 12 days of christmas brought no joy to animals. Retrieved on 24th of December 2012 from http://www.rspca.org.uk/media/news/story/-/article/12_Days_of_Christmas_Dec12
BBC. (2012). BBC News – RSPCA centres close for christmas. Retrieved on 24th of December 2012 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20796052