Be it Christmas or not, if there is a gift waiting for me to unwrap it, it better be a dog! Lucky me Germany is not where I inhabit. I know, the last sentence needs some background information, which I am going to provide later on.
This holiday season, many of you might feel perplexed to find the right gift for your loved one. Who wouldn’t be tempted by those adorable faces peering out at us from behind a local pet store’s display windows? Not me.
A pet is a gift that creates a budding relationship with the gift receiver. A gift of great friendship and a strong bond. However, sometimes, what you thought was a great surprise, might backfire. One has to consider thoroughly the countereffect it might have on the pet, despite your temptation to ‘wow’ somebody.
The first thing to have in mind is the recipient’s capacity to provide the necessary time, effort, and necessities to the pet. Pets need a great commitment, attention, love, and most of all, time spent with them. But, even the firmest pet-lovers may not be ready for such a responsibility.
Having said all these, dozens of shelters in Germany have considered all of the above. And the best solution they came up with, was to ban adoption from 15 December until the end of Christmas. Why Christmas you might ask? Because, as we mentioned before, Christmas is a time where people feel enthusiastic for the gift exchanges, but there is so much to do, so many guests, decorations et al., so you don’t really have time to give all of your attention and love to your pet.
This step undertaken by German animal rescue shelters aims to reduce unwanted animals being dumped after Christmas, which are traumatizing for the animals.
The Bremen shelter in Germany has rescued around 1,100 animals this year and successfully given up 1,000 for adoption.
Arvid Possekel, from Hanover Animal Shelter, spoke for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, explaining how giving a pet as a present is generally not a good idea. He said:
The temporary stop is there so that animals do not end up under the Christmas tree, because animals simply are not presents.
Ideally, they become members of the family and you just don’t give family members as presents.
He also added that in a kinda stressful time, as Christmas is, people don’t have much time to take care of their pets. “It’s an enormous strain on the animal, on top of the stress their new surroundings,” he continued. However, “most shelters will still be open for viewings – but families will have to come back in January after they’ve had time to think it through.”
Remember: A dog is for life, not just for Christmas!
You might also be interested in: 12+ Photos Of Animals That Can Right Away Melt Any Heart