City News; 16 Dec 10 by Nicole Carrington
BRISBANE: The RSPCA is urging people not to behave like animals this Christmas by dumping unwanted pets at its welfare shelters.
Every year in Queensland, up to 12,000 unwanted, dumped cats and kittens are put down by the RSPCA. And up to 400 kittens are dumped at the RSPCA’s Fairfield Shelter each week during peak cat-breeding season in spring and summer.
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the increasing numbers of people surrendering their pets during the festive season was a “huge problem”.
“Each year many people don’t plan for boarding kennels over the Christmas holidays and so they abandon their pets to us, and then get another dog the following year,” Mr Beatty said.
“It’s crazy and just so irresponsible. Owning a pet is a privilege.
“And a lot of people don’t understand what they’re getting into when they get a pet.
“You have to choose a breed of dog or cat that fits your lifestyle. For example, don’t choose a big dog if you have no yard and no time to care for them.”
Mr Beatty also urged caution when buying a loved one a kitten or puppy as a Christmas present.
“If you are buying a pet as a present, you need to make sure it’s compatible with the prospective owner,” he said.
“A pet isn’t something you just wrap up and put in pretty paper under the Christmas tree it’s not a toy.
“People have to be educated on how to look after a new puppy.”
For more information, visit www.rspcaqld.org.au.