Think twice before deciding on pets as presents this Christmas

Published on 03 December 2021

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With Christmas just around the corner, Rockhampton Regional Council is reminding residents to carefully consider what’s involved in being a pet owner before buying a puppy or kitten as a gift this year.

Planning and Regulation Councillor, Grant Mathers, said that while pets make an exciting gift, they are much more than a present.

“Every year, rescue groups and Council take in unwanted pets that were given as Christmas presents,” Cr Mathers said.

“It’s heartbreaking but true that a number of people regret getting a cat or dog once the Christmas period is over and the excitement of having a new and cute animal wears off.

“Animal Management Centres across the country see an influx of animals in the few months after Christmas, and sadly our local area is no exception.

“We see a large number of pets surrendered to the Animal Management Centre in the first few months of the year and then again midway through the year, and that’s often believed to be because of pets growing up and the growing responsibility that comes with that.

“While we know that there are a huge number of dedicated and responsible pet owners in our Region, we want to make sure that the pattern of unwanted pets doesn’t continue.

“We really just want to remind people of the responsibility involved in being a pet owner and to really be sure that a pet will fit into their lifestyle and priorities before they purchase one.

“These animals rely on us solely for their comfort and protection and aren’t something that you can just return if they don’t fit your lifestyle after all – that just isn’t how it works.”

Things to consider before getting a pet for Christmas:

  • Will a pet fit into my lifestyle? Do I have time to pet, play and walk my pet every day?
  • Do I have the time to train and care for my pet?
  • Can I cover the costs of food and general care?
  • Can I cover the costs of microchipping, de-sexing and regular registrations and vaccinations?
  • Do I have suitable space for my pet?
  • Is there anyone in the house that has allergies that I need to consider?
  • Could I cover the costs if my pet ever became unwell and required vet visits and treatment?
  • Do I have any restrictions on pets in my area (such as a rented property)?
  • Is this type of animal the best fit for my family and property? 

For more information on owning a pet in the Rockhampton Region is available here

Adopting a pet:

If you do decide to add four paws to your family, consider adopting. You can contact rehoming organisations that regularly work with Council by heading here.