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Caithness and Sutherland animal rescue centre warns of buying pets for Christmas


By Matt Leslie


A cat being cuddled by one of the helpers at the Caithness and Sutherland Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre. While the centre will be open during the festive season, the option to re-home any of the animals will be suspended until the New Year in order to prevent the risk of pets being acquired for Christmas only to be discarded soon after.
A cat being cuddled by one of the helpers at the Caithness and Sutherland Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre. While the centre will be open during the festive season, the option to re-home any of the animals will be suspended until the New Year in order to prevent the risk of pets being acquired for Christmas only to be discarded soon after.

The Scottish SPCA is urging people in Caithness and Sutherland to be aware of the pitfalls of buying a pet for Christmas.

Every year people are reminded that "a pet is for life, not Christmas" but every year some people fail to adhere to this saying as many pets are made homeless come the new year.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity’s animal rescue centres stop re-homing over the festive period each year to avoid people taking an animal home as a gift.

It won’t be possible to re-home a young animal from the Scottish SPCA between December 19 and January 3. All of the centres are open for the public to visit but not to give an animal a home.

The manager of the Caithness and Sutherland centre, Jimmy Gunn, said: "Each year we care for unwanted animals that were given as gifts and the novelty has worn off.

"People should consider the commitment they are making when taking on any animal.

"Animals need attention, care and love which is a lifelong obligation.

"Food, veterinary treatment and toys to provide mental stimulation can be very costly so there is also the financial commitment to think about with any pet.

"In the worst cases, unwanted pets can be abandoned. This is a criminal offence and, needless to say, extremely distressing for the animal.

"It’s not just young animals that come to us – older animals can be discarded to make way for new ones. People in the past have brought an elderly dog to us before going to pick up a new puppy and sadly this is more common than you would expect.

"We would like to ensure everyone, animals included, has a wonderful Christmas. But we want to ensure this happy ending extends to the rest of the animal’s life, not just the weeks after."

Anyone who would like advice on re-homing or caring for a pet should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.



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