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FOUR PAWS: What happens with unwanted presents?


Don’t give animals as Christmas gifts

Sofia, 19.12.2012


Every year before Christmas we observe the increased sale of pets, which make an interesting gift for our family and loved ones. At first the joy over the new household member is great, but most of these “fresh” owners soon get tired of the animal. And, as they can’t return it back to the store, a lot of the animals wind up in the backyard, in shelters or simply on the streets. The international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS appeals to the citizens for responsibility: “What happens with unwanted presents? Don’t give animals as gifts!”



“What should I buy for Christmas?” Each of us has faced the same problem. But while a DVD or floral tie can easily be exchanged at the store, an animal cannot be returned”, FOUR PAWS representative Yavor Gechev says. The consequences: in the best case scenario the once loved “presents” land in a shelter where most of them lead a sad life for years. In the worst case scenario they are thrown out or otherwise “disposed of” – regardless of the penalty risk.

 

“The abandonment of animals in our country is punishable by a fine, but we still haven’t heard of such a case”, Gechev continues. “In order not to contribute to the increasing number of stray dogs and cats on the streets, it’s best if we give a book on pets instead. This way we can better prepare for our newcomer and find out if the animal will fit in our family, as well as in our work and financial situation.”

 

If you, however, decide on an animal as a present, be sure to look around shelters and internet listings first. You will find there are dozens of cats and dogs in need of a new home. If you insist on having an animal with a pedigree, you should buy it from a licensed breeder who is a member of the respective Kennel club. Don’t buy from pet markets or pet shops, as very often they offer animals of unknown origin and health. FOUR PAWS also recommends: never buy an animal out of pity – each purchase encourages animal traders to keep developing their business. If you come across animals for sale, which are being kept in poor conditions, report it to the relevant regional directorate for food safety.

 

Since the beginning of the week, thanks to JCDecaux – official partner in FOUR PAWS’ campaign “Take me home” – we have set up posters on the central Vitosha Street in Sofia, calling upon the citizens not to buy animals as Christmas gifts.


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