Arguably other countries should follow Germany’s example in banning adoptions from animal shelters in the run-up to Christmas to stop unwanted dogs and cats being dumped after the holidays. Is this a good idea? I think it is but others might disagree (see poster below).
We all know that some people buy pets at Christmas as a present. And most of us realise that this is not the best way to go about adopting a cat or dog or indeed any other companion animal. There is too high a percentage of animals being abandoned at shelters when the holidays are over. Animal shelter workers at shelters in Lower Saxony, Bremen and Berlin in Germany have noticed a peak in the number of cats and dogs and other small pets being abandoned in January.
The Daily Mail also tells us that shelters in Ireland have embarked on a similar policy. The country’s largest dog welfare charity Dogs Trust is suspending all adoptions from next week.
They found that the month of January was the highest for people giving up their dogs. The pause in companion animal rehoming takes place from December 16 of January 5. Some shelters will remain open to allow people to view the animals for adoption in the future during 2019.
The Executive Director of Dogs Trust, Suzie Carley, said: “Each year we are saddened and worried by the number of people looking to relinquish their dog, especially in the first few months after Christmas.”
This is the first time that I’ve seen such a policy being instigated at a number of animal shelters. It seems that Germany is leading the way in trying to reduce the number of relinquished cats and dogs after Christmas. There is still this attitude by, I hope, a small minority of people who think that it’s a good idea to adopt a pet for Christmas.
The adoption of a companion animal should take a lot of consideration; the first of which is can the potential adopter afford to maintain the animal over his or her lifetime? These costs could amount to somewhere in the region of £15,000 depending upon the animal and the country in which they live. There are other issues such as whether the person is able to devote enough time to being a companion for the animal.
Many lifestyles are unsuited, in truth, to being a companion animal guardian.
P.S. The picture on this page is a promotion encouraging pet adoptions at Christmas; the exact opposite of the policies described on this page. Do they think that the people who created the poster believe that they will still gain in the number of adoptions over Christmas even if there are more cats and dogs abandoned after the holidays? I think this is the thinking behind it.