Last updated: December 18. 2013 9:54AM - 503 Views

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While that cute puppy or kitty is a tempting Christmas present, remember that having a pet is a long term commitment.

Nationally, most pets will lose their home before they turn one year and only one dog in five will remain in one home for life. It is a poor example for children to see a pet as a disposable item that is gotten at Christmas and “gotten rid of” a few months later when it becomes inconvenient.

Don’t be that poor example!

Think ahead and make sure the animal will continue to fit your lifestyle. Consider how big and active the pet will get.

If you rent your home, make sure you are permitted to have a pet BEFORE you bring the pet home. Consider the costs and who will actually take care of the pet. Unsupervised children under the age of 12 should not be in charge of caring for pets.

If you get a pet during the holidays, many experts recommend bringing a pet home a couple days after Christmas when the stress level has diminished.

Pet care includes vaccinations and having your pet spayed or neutered.

Low-income families who want to get their pets spayed or neutered at A Shelter Friend’s monthly low-income clinic can call 645-2297 for information and sign-up. Share this number with your friends and neighbors who are producing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens – your community will thank you.

Krista Hansen

A Shelter Friend

Bladen County

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