Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Don't Give a Puppy For Christmas

Just a word on this subject:

Rescue groups across the country are gearing up the the annual uptick in need for foster homes for dogs that someone got as a present but they weren't quite prepared to live with. Getting a dog is a personal decision, one that people make after considering their availability, the costs involved, and the fact that it is a lifetime commitment (we hope).  Please don't buy the cute puppy in the window (which is probably bought from a puppy mill -- terrible, terrible places that breed sickly dogs). Let people get their own dogs, and parents - don't succumb to your kid's promises about taking care of the dog, unless you're prepared to pick up the slack, and that WILL happen. I've done it myself (many moons ago), and I've always loved dogs.

Shelters all over fill up after the holidays with the leftovers from people who start with good intentions, but haven't thought the whole thing through.  If you want a dog, adopt a dog from a shelter and save a life.  I have nothing against pure bred dog-breeding and buying, by the way, though it's not my thing. I'm talking about "puppies for sale," as advertised in your friendly neighborhood storefront or mall.  Don't get a puppy to fulfill the traditional Christmas "look" of a young cute dog in a red bow that seems like a good idea, unless you've really given it thought. They need to be fed, housetrained, taken to the vet yearly (today I spent $330), have monthly heartworm preventative meds, be tested for lyme disease, get periodic vaccinations, teeth cleaning (those costs will open your eyes!), and don't forget all the crap you'll need to buy at Petco et al, and the one cost that no one ever considers -- dog care for when you go away on a trip (about $40 bucks a day in my neck of the woods). It's a big commitment and if you're not in it for the long haul, please reconsider.

Sorry to be a grinch, but shelters are filled with dogs already. Puppies that get left there (after six months, when their cuteness wears off and you're mad they peed on the rug again, because you didn't train them properly or couldn't stick to a schedule for them) only makes less room for older, less cute dogs, and then that's when dogs start getting euthanized.