Family not big enough for both of us

The Sunday Mail; Paul Weston; Jan 2,2011

 dog & child

THE arrival of new babies in family homes is causing a spike in the number of dogs being dumped at shelters, according to new research.

Animal Welfare League of Queensland statistics on dogs track a consistent trend since 2006, with 219 “new baby surrenders” compared with 75 “unwanted or unsuitable gifts”.

When league educators first noticed the trend in 2008, they launched a Pregnant Paws program, which included addressing antenatal classes and printing a guide for families.

But despite efforts to educate families to keep pets when babies arrive, 50 animals have been dropped off for that reason this year at the major Coombabah shelter on the Gold Coast. Only three dogs have been dumped because they were unwanted.

AWLQ public relations manager Gabrielle Wheaton has welcomed a Facebook campaign by dog lover Trish Anderson trying to reverse the trend.

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“There’s a range of reasons for the trend,” Ms Wheaton said. “Some can’t handle looking after a dog and a cat and a new baby. And there are still some old myths – that a cat will steal a sleeping baby’s breath or a cat will smother the baby. If they’ve had a dog for a long time and it’s their first child, sometimes owners are concerned about jealousy.” Ms Anderson, who regularly babysits her granddaughter Madisyn Imber, has written on Facebook about the positive impact of her kelpie Cody.

“He has such a beautiful nature,” she said. “With Madisyn crawling up and touching his feet – which he doesn’t like – he just curls them up under him.

“With a little bit of effort, a pet can end up being your child’s best guardian. They become part of the tribe.”

Original story – go here



Filed under AWL Queensland, Queensland

2 responses to “Family not big enough for both of us

  1. Jan Baker

    well I have always owned a dog…when my children were born I introduced my dog to them, they bacame great friends….when my grandchildren were born I have always had 2 German Shepherds I did the same thing with them…dogs & kids loved each other…..I think it is very sad when people don’t go to the trouble of training their kids to adapt to a dog…..because dogs have no trouble adapting to kids!!

  2. Suszan

    My grand daughter was born into a family of 3 dogs, a Border Collie mix and two Satffies, and two cats, because my daughter and her partner were staying with me while their house was renovated. Our companions hadn’t lived with babies or children or had any real experience with them but they adored her. When she was old enough to have playtime on the floor, our dogs strategically placed themselves around her. They were fascinated with her and accepted her almost like a pup, to be protected and guarded. We taught her all the words we used to communicate with our companions and they became law! It was so funny to see a little blond haired girl telling 3 dogs to ‘Sit!’ and an immediate response, no questions asked! We also taught her to respect them. They have a wonderful relationship and have formed their own little pack.

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