A non-profit animal welfare organization urged Filipinos to refrain from getting an animal as a surprise gift to their loved ones for the holidays since getting a pet involves discernment.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) on Thursday reminded the public that animals “are not Christmas presents” as the Yuletide season rolls in and people begin to shop for gifts.
“With Christmas just around the corner, many might be considering a puppy or a kitten as the perfect gift! Once the holiday spirit wears off though, too many of these pets become neglected. Some of them are caged for the rest of their lives, or even worse, abandoned in the streets! This has to change,” the organization said.
“Caring for a pet is a LIFETIME COMMITMENT. When you choose to adopt instead of shop, you truly understand what it means for a pet to be part of your family. This means many Christmas celebrations with your pet, not just this year, but in the years to come,” it added.
PAWS said that deciding to get a pet “should always be made after consultation and careful planning with other household and family members” who will live with the animal.
It said that one should consider the budget for future trips to the veterinarian, vaccinations, training, spay or neuter procedure and other expenses for maintaining the animal’s health and well-being.
The organization also said that the commitment to take care of the animal when it reaches its senior years “should be discussed” among household owners as well.
“Animals, like humans, will get sick and get old. There is no one who stays young and in perfect health forever. It’s a sobering holiday message but, for all of us who care about companion animals, it has to be said: Pets are not gifts. They are a lifetime commitment,” the org said.
According to a data aggregator, Filipinos appeared to be most interested in adopting a pet amid the COVID-19 pandemic compared to their Southeast Asian neighbors.
iPrice Group previously said that the Philippines logged the highest number of pet-related searches on Google from January to September of this year.
It was also reported that impressions on iPrice Philippines’ pet supplies rose by 145%, which confirmed a rise in pet adoption and sales, according to them.