Say No to a Puppy at Christmas

The USPCA urges the public not to give a pet as a gift at Christmas. 
Chief Executive Brendan Mullan said “an animal is not a toy it is a lifetime commitment and doesn’t come with a return policy”.

Experience tells us the festive season is the time for family and friends, not ideal for the introduction of a companion animal into the home. The USPCA does not encourage getting a puppy or any animal as a Christmas gift and one should never be given as a surprise. 

People need to remember that that little puppy or kitten will not stay small for long and the arrival of that pet will change a household considerably—for years. Someone has to take responsibility for their daily needs—feeding, exercise, health care, grooming. The decision should be thoroughly discussed and not just an impulse buy. The buying of a pet should be the result of a well thought out process.

If you have seriously considered getting a pet, we recommend you wait until after Christmas and then adopt from some of the many rescue centres and shelters throughout Northern Ireland.

The USPCA are also warning the public to beware of the Cruel Puppy Trade this Christmas and to avoid these illegal breeders at all costs.

USPCA Chief Executive Brendan Mullan said “Christmas is a time of gifts and goodwill for family and friends and rich pickings for the unregistered illegal puppy farmers and dog dealers. Motivated by money they breed dogs on an industrial scale with the only ‘welfare’ concern being the wellbeing of their wallets and not the animal.”
“The public are not aware of the appalling conditions in which many of these dogs are bred, the exploitation of the over bred bitches, the cramped and disease prone conditions in which puppies are hawked from breeder to dealer, the absence of proper veterinary care and the only guarantee you get is one of ongoing expense and heartache”.

Remember, if you are dealing with a legitimate breeder, they will have questions for you about your lifestyle in order to satisfy themselves that you are a suitable keeper for their pup.

To avoid being exploited by these ruthless individuals:
• Consider homing a pet from the USPCA or a local animal rescue.
• Always see a puppy with its mother and litter.
• Don’t buy a pet from a car boot, the back of a van or a market stall.
• Never ever agree to the suggestion of a ‘helpful’ meeting point.
• Ask if the person is a registered commercial breeder; if so record the number from the Local Authority Registration document
• Enquire about the pup’s health status, worming and parasites, inoculations etc. Get verifiable veterinary confirmation.
• Obtain a proper receipt.

Say NO to illegal puppy breeders.

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