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In Australia, around 50,000 dogs in good health are destroyed annually due to not having a home. They may have been found wandering, surrendered for adoption or collected from after-hours acceptance pens. Another tragedy is that an average of less than 60% are reunited with their owners. This creates a big strain on resources and means masses of animals awaiting their fate.

Of course, not all these dogs were Christmas gifts but we want to impress that though it may be tempting to buy a dog as a gift for Christmas you should think many times before embarking on this. Please don’t buy a dog as a gift for anyone outside your immediate family. A pet is a very personal choice and only the owner should be exploring whether, and which type of dog will suit them. A minimum of costs incurred to feed and shelter a dog start around $1K per year but that does not include the most basic of veterinary expenses. The average of a 15 year commitment is very significant pledge.

If buying a dog to live within your own family then all family members should be consulted and considered. There are plenty of dog trainers who can advise you on the right dog for your family. Your local shelter can also help you find the most suitable for you.

If considering getting an extra pet, make sure you also check with your local council to find out how many pets you can keep in relation to local laws and land size etc. If someone is renting they need to seek permission via their rental agency. We do not recommend buying puppies or dogs from pet stores or back yard breeders. If you are buying a puppy you should be meeting the dogs parents unless the pup is from a shelter where they are not present. Remember that numbers in shelters are always booming in the new year period so if re-homing, this is a time when you will find lots of choice.

The video below will help ‘bring home’ the message about how we simply must vote with our dollars and decisions. Right now, dogs are paying the price.

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/companion_animals.php

Leah & Angela O’Meara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)