You claim you are an animal lover. You call your animals your fluffy babies and you “spoil” them rotten. Your fur-babies are part of the family. So naturally, you want them to have the best Christmas ever! If you agree with any of these statements, you will absolutely make sure that you give your pets the following gifts this Festive Season.
#1 A Home-Away-from-Home
If you are planning to go on a wonderful holiday – perhaps to the coast, Mauritius, New York or even Joburg…please do your pets and your neighbours a solid and make sure you make a suitable arrangement for your fur-balls. If you can’t take the fur-kids with, have a stay-cation (stay at home vacation), have a reliable friend/relative STAY at your home, please be sure to arrange a suitable kennel/hotel for your pets. Please note kennel/hotel not SPCA or a shelter. You aren’t ditching your pet. You are making sure your pet is left safely and securely somewhere – and showing your neighbours the respect of not having to try and comfort your pet over the wall in your absence because the person that you paid R2 to feed your pet comes every second day and doesn’t give a thunder bolt and lightning if there is a storm or if you dog is bored, scared or injured.
#2 A Gift to Keep and NOT to Give
Please, please, please do not buy or get a dog or other pet from the SPCA, pet shop or a shelter as a gift for someone this Festive Season, unless you are willing to make a lifetime commitment. Like a better or for worse; until death do us part commitment. What’s exciting and cute now will more than likely become a burden when it is time for vaccinations, sterilisations and deworming a few months down the line. A pet/an animal is a lifetime commitment, not a thing, commodity or object. It’s not a cute stocking-filler or novelty item.
#3 No Fireworks
Fireworks cause grievous damage to humans, pets and wild animals, year-after-year. For a few cheap (and mostly illegal) thrills and bangs, many animals injure themselves, runaway and even die from the fear of these strange sounds. Animals have amplified hearing and don’t understand the stupid human entertainment-value onlookers get from the crackers. So please don’t break the law and shoot crackers over the Festive Season. Report people who do. And take precautions to protect your animals on nights like New Year’s Eve.
Cats and dogs also respond to a much lower intensity of sound than humans. Sound intensity is measured in decibels (dB). Dogs can hear five times more acutely than humans; and cats about twice as acutely as dogs.NSPCA. Read more about fireworks here
#4 A Promise
Too many people take their dogs/cats etc. to the SPCA as a solution for them to go on holiday without having to pay a bill. Or take their pets to the kennels and never return to pick up their family member. Or even worse and something that has been gaining momentum lately – stopping on the side of the road and throwing their “beloved” cats in the bushes, kicking their dog to run away or leaving them tied to a barrier on a highway. So, the best gift you can give your pets/animals this Festive Season is that no matter what… you will never abandon them; if circumstances change or financial issues are so pressing that you can’t breathe, then you make suitable arrangements, but you never-ever-ever abandon your pets.
The list can probably go on and on and the animal heartbreak is real in this country and beyond. But if we want to change this world for animals we each need to go home and love our animals and families.
A Bit About Sparkle Paws and Glitter Trails and Sparkle Ellie
I want to see the end of testing on animals; I want to see the end of dogfighting and any practices where animals are compromised for the sake of “human entertainment”. I want to see freedom of animals chained to fences, lying in the sun all day with no water or food in their bowls and mange ravaging their bodies. I want to see the end of kids kicking around a local cat or shooting them with a paintball gun or darts for fun. I want to see the end of wild animals being illegally (and sometimes legally) traded as pets. I want to see the end of cub petting and animal interactions which ultimately lead to the animals’ untimely deaths. I want to see the end of animals suffering at the hands of humans’ cruelty, ignorance and/or negligence. I want to make a difference in South Africans’ lives and believe a colossal part of that is ensuring South Africans treat their pets and animals well. Today a blog, tomorrow who knows?Sparkle Ellie