As the festive season fast approaches, many children will be adding a new pet to their Christmas list. We are all familiar with the slogan “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, coined in 1978 by Clarissa Baldwin, OBE, Chief Executive of the Canine Defence League (now known as Dogs Trust). And whilst this catchy campaign message is now thirty six years old, it still holds true. Those of us who have formed unbreakable bonds with the pets in our lives know that bringing a new member into the family requires lots of planning, weighing up of all the options and plenty of careful consideration.
Sadly, the statistics show that others do not always approach this important decision in the same way:
- According to figures published by Dogs Trust 15,239 dogs were admitted to one of the charity’s twenty centres around the UK last year.
- Cats Protection estimate that they rehomed a staggering 45,000 cats and kittens in 2013.
Introducing a new pet into the family requires time, patience and careful preparation. Choosing to do this at a time when the normal routine is broken by visiting relatives, excitable children and travelling is far from ideal! Indeed, many responsible breeders, pet stores and rehoming centres will not allow pets to be adopted or bought during the festive season for these very reasons.
Once Christmas has passed and you are ready to bring a new pet into your home, why not consider offering a loving home and a new start to one of the thousands of animals in rehoming centres across the UK. On The Ralph Site you will find links to some rescue centres as well as advice on getting a new friend if you have recently suffered pet bereavement. The Kennel Club also has a great resource called ‘Find a rescue dog’ to help you consider all the options.
Or if you are not ready to get a new pet perhaps you might think about fostering – many rescue centres are in desperate need for more foster carers for animals that do not cope well in those environments. Or indeed you could consider adopting an animal instead – there are thousands of charities and volunteer-run organisations across the UK who would benefit from regular monthly sponsorship. With regular visits to your adopted animal you can build a connection with an animal in need without the responsibilities that can sometimes be difficult to fit into our busy lives.
If you do decide to welcome a new pet into your life in the new year, and need to buy all the basics, don’t forget that you can find a wide range of items to choose from in The Ralph Site shop!
With very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team