The Scottish SPCA Aberdeen Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre is appealing to pet owners to think twice before taking on the responsibility for a new family pet if they cannot care for it.
Centre manager Graeme Innes said, “It’s an upsetting reality that in the weeks and months after Christmas our centres are often asked to take in puppies, kittens and other pets who were given as presents. Even worse, some of these animals are dumped like rubbish once the novelty has worn off.”
He added: “Every January we take in hundreds of animals and it is possible some of these animals had been bought for Christmas. For that reason we are asking people to consider whether they have the time and financial resources to be able to properly care for an animal for life.”
In one example, a spaniel setter cross named Winter was left for dead on a remote country road in Lanarkshire on Christmas Day in 2011.
The Scottish SPCA were called to the scene but were unable to identify the person responsible.
Fortunately, the charity was able to find a new home for ten-year-old Winter.
Senior Inspector Billy Linton said: “Whoever abandoned Winter couldn’t have cared whether he lived or died. He was very lucky someone found him and called us because he could just as easily have run off or been knocked down by a car and killed.”
In an attempt to reduce the chances of people taking on pets at a whim for Christmas time, the charity will stop rehoming efforts for baby animals from December 19 to January 3.
Innes said: “Our message is simple, a pet is a lifelong commitment and not a present which can be given at Christmas and then forgotten about soon afterwards.”
If people would like to donate to the Scottish SPCA this Christmas they can call the charity’s helpline on 03000 999 999 or visit https://www.scottishspca.org.