PETS ARE FOR LIFE, NOT FOR CHRISTMAS!

Bella, one of our ARO office cats!

Bella, one of our ARO office cats!

It’s the season of giving, and while we all want to give gifts that are special and meaningful to our loved ones, especially children, a pet is not a gift. Although pets are cute and offer unconditional love, they also require a lifetime commitment from you, the owner!

Many animals are handed in to shelters after the Christmas season is over. Many of these animals were given as gifts.  Do not dump unwanted pets.  Make a plan to reach a welfare shelter and sign the unwanted pet over correctly.

Having discussed the realities of giving an animal as a gift, there are many other ways to assist our four legged friends. The Animal Rescue Organisation encourages the public to donate money to our organisation in lieu of a Christmas gift or alternatively visit our online shop www.animalrescue.org.za and purchase your Christmas presents with us, that way you will be supporting the animals in our care.

For those who have researched and understand the commitments of caring for an animal, and still feel you would like to add a four legged companion to the Christmas celebrations, please visit a reputable welfare organisation and adopt one of the many animals in need of a good home.

If you are already a pet owner, myself and the Animal Rescue Organisation are appealing to owners to be vigilant and responsible during the celebrations.

Christmas trees and decorations add a touch of festivity and get everyone in the Christmas spirit, but for inquisitive pets its can be hazardous. Ensure the tree is secure and won’t topple over, put any electrical cables and lights out of reach.

Discard of any wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and carrier bags as your pets could easily get entangled and injure themselves.

Refrain from letting off firecrackers and be mindful when pulling Christmas crackers and popping champagne corks and balloons.

Provide a safe quiet environment for your pet to go to should the celebrations or rowdy visitors become too much.

Before sitting back and relaxing after a meal, ensure any leftovers are put away and are out of reach from your pet, turkey and chicken bones can splinter and become lodged in your pets throat or damage their intestine. Keep alcohol out of reach. Don’t be tempted to change your pets regular feeding habits, overfeeding or diet changes can cause digestive upsets.

Should you wish to spoil your pet, rather choose to purchase a toy or treats, that are provide by a reputable vet shop.

In the event, that your pet gets out of the property, ensure your pets has a means of identification.

Last but not least, when on your travels, NEVER leave your pets in the car, especially not during the hot summer months.

In closing, I wish all my fellow bloggers and followers a happy, healthy and safe festive season. May 2014 be a year of kindness and compassion to all animals.

Until next time,

Jess

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PETS IN CAGES

A friend of mine recently received a hamster from her boyfriend, accompanied by a huge bouquet of red roses. “how adorable, it is the cutest gift ever!” However, over the years at ARO, we have come to see that this elated and warm fuzzy feeling is very much a temporary one and the novelty of owning this pet very quickly wears off.

2 – 3 months later, when the reality of cleaning, feeding and providing the hamster (or any other caged animal) with love and attention sets in, the pet very quickly becomes a nuisance and an escape route or alternate home is looked for.

All one needs to do is browse the likes of Gumtree, OLX, or other online classifieds and see the endless amount of ‘unwanted’ ‘free to a good home’ advertisements.

ARO encourages responsible pet care and prefers those who purchase caged pets to “see it through”, but we also realise that once the novelty has worn off, it is sometimes best to get the animal “out of there”…..

Many small caged pets have come to ARO like this.

Please educate both parents and friends about the responsibility of owning ANY pet before making the commitment.

Until next time,

Jess

ARO rescued rabbits - rabbits need space, do not place them in cages

ARO rescued rabbits – rabbits need space, do not place them in cages

The Ins and Outs of Pet Ownership

Although pets are cute and offer unconditional love, they require a lifetime of commitment from you, their owner!

Having recently acquired a new member to my ‘ani-family’ I am able to experience first-hand not only the responsibilities of owning a pet but the costs involved too.

While they say you can’t put a price on love, it is wise to know just how much love you can afford and whether your lifestyle is suited to owning a pet.

Before making the decision, consider the following:

  • Pets require attention and your time, if you live alone and work long hours, then perhaps pet ownership is not an ideal choice at this time. However, if like me, you work for an animal organisation, you can always enquire as to whether your furry companion can accompany you to work.
  •  Any pet you get should be suitable to your lifestyle and living arrangements. If you live in a flat, then a large or energetic breed is not a good choice. You don’t want your pet to become bored, as this can result in destructive behavior problems.
  • Puppies and kittens require the most amount of work when it comes to house training. If you don’t have the time or finances to properly train your pets or don’t want your expensive shoes chewed or lounge suite damaged; then consider adopting an already house trained, adult pet. There are literally thousands of adult shelter dogs and cats looking for a place to call home. Give them a second chance.
  • Owning a pet is a joy, but, as with everything else, there is quite a hefty price tag involved. Before adopting your pet, ask yourself, can I afford to keep a pet, as it is a long term commitment. Once you have considered the above, below are a few essential expenses you will need to budget for:
  • A suitable dog bed or basket, blanket, collar, identity tag, lead, food and water bowls
  • Pet food, treats, and tick and flea treatment (monthly expense)
  • Routine Veterinary checks and annual vaccinations
  • Sterilisation (usually done at 6 months)
  • Microchip
  • Socialisation training (optional)

If you adopt a breed of dog that is susceptible to medical conditions (hip dysplasia, spinal conditions, respiratory issues etc.) consider taking out a Pet Health Insurance – your veterinarian will be able to advise as to the various options available.

For those who have researched and understand the commitments of caring for an animal, and still feel you would like to add a four legged companion to your family, please visit a reputable welfare organisation and adopt one of the many animals in need of a good home. Alternatively, if you cannot adopt a pet at this current time, there are many ways to assist our needy four legged friends by supporting our online shop, fundraising events, via My School Card by making ARO a beneficiary, donating gifts in kind or cash – by doing any one of those things you will be supporting the many animals in or dependent on our care.

BUT, whatever you decide, have fun! Owning a pet is a privilege and will bring you endless years of joy!

Until next time

Jess and Jameson

IMG-20130629-01062 Cape Town-20130701-01071 Helping at work