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Pet Friendly Canada Newsletter - December 2010

PET QUOTES

"I will always remember the tabby who taught me that not all relationships are meant to last forever. Sometimes, just an hour is enough to touch your heart."
(Barbara L. Diamond)

"To a cat, 'NO!' means 'Not while I'm looking'."
(Unknown)

Pet Story: JOURNEY TO A NEW HOME

Source: Pet Stories from PawFriendly.com

First & foremost, I am far from being a writer. I simply felt the need to write something to express gratitude for the selfless acts given by virtually an entire community of warm hearted people. Might I please first start by introducing myself? My name is Christopher LeBlanc. My family and I are from Central Massachusetts & I had occasion to be in Branford at my Mother-in-Laws house this past weekend, 11/13 through 11/15. Now my intentions were only to have a short visit on Saturday as my 11 year old daughter Rylee and I were making a stop off to show Mom-in-law & my Mom our newly adopted 6 & 1/2 month old Italian Greyhound/Jack Russell mix puppy.

We found her on PetFinder.com & fortunately enough, she was being fostered in Westchester County, NY. Now before I get too far into this "happy ending" story, the reader base needs to know that "Roo" came from an abandoned Italian Greyhound/JRT litter from South Carolina. Roo was one of 5 pups that were discovered abandoned at approximately 4 months old. They supposedly had little to no human contact for the first 4 months of their precious lives, leaving them to rely on genetically implanted survival instincts, they had made their way through the custodial chain when there last stop was to be euthanized...

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PHOTOS FROM PROUD PET PARENTS

"This is Mitzy, she likes to pose for the camera even though it's dinner time."

"This is Star, my 7 month old Shih Tzu. She just got home from the groomer's and is posing for the camera with the receipt from the groomer's in her mouth."
- Christine H. of Westville, Nova Scotia

"It's hot out here, I wish the bus would hurry up and come along..."
- Julie S. sent us this photo of Brandi

"Trick or treat... just drop the doggie treat in da bed ... I'm 17 and quite comfy right here!"
- Andrea L. sent us this photo of Mitaine
 

"Thanks to the Pet Friendly website, my husband and I have been able find places throughout Canada that will allow us to bring our two dogs along on our vacation. Both boys are well socialized and well travelled because of this.

I thought I would share a couple of photos of our dogs while we were on vacation, and the day we arrived home.

- Benson, CH Banda's At Your Beck And Call, CGN, is our 2.5 yr old brindle Mastiff.
- Ernie is our 5 yr old CorgiX that we adopted through a rescue.

Thanks for creating Pet Friendly and thank you to all the cottages, hotels, inns, B & B's, etc., who have opened their doors to our 4 - legged family members!" - Lerene M.

RESPONSIBLE ALTERNATIVES TO GIVING PETS AS GIFTS

Every year thousands of unwanted pets are surrendered to a shelter, given away, or abandoned to their fates. Some of these pets were gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or other special occasions.

The Christmas holidays in particular seems to lend itself to images of finding a playful puppy under the tree. However, the reality is that the holidays are often filled with noise, crowds, and lots of activity. This is a stressful introduction for both the pet and for the people! If a pet will be joining a new family, ideally it would be at a quieter time when the family has the time to spend helping their new pet adjust to its new life.

When a pet is given as a gift, the timing or the circumstances may be wrong - or the pet itself might be the wrong choice for the recipient. People surrender their pets for a number of reasons. In the case of "surprise pets", it's most often because someone in the family didn't get along with the pet or never wanted one to begin with - or the novelty of having a pet simply wore off. Sometimes, the pet just didn't fit the person's lifestyle or resources. For example, a high-energy border collie puppy would probably not be the best fit for an elderly person with mobility issues.

Although gifting a pet is usually done with good intentions, a living animal is not an appropriate gift. A pet requires both time and money, often requires the owner to make some changes to their lifestyle, and it's a lifelong commitment. A potential pet owner should be able to decide if they want a pet at all; when is the right time to move ahead with an adoption; and which pet is the one for them.

Instead of giving a pet as a gift, give the gift of choice instead:

  • Ask the local SPCA, pet rescue organization, or animal shelter if they sell gift certificates. The gift certificate will allow the recipient to choose their new pet, a pet whose personality and care requirements matches the owner's personality and lifestyle.

  • Hand-craft a gift certificate that offers to pay for the adoption fee of a new pet. Then, when the time is right, the recipient can go pick out their new animal friend.

  • Wrap up a pet gift basket. Package up a nice basket filled with useful pet care items and treats. You can even include the gift certificate in the basket.

Happy Holidays to the whole family - pets included!

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