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COLUMN: A pet for a Christmas present? It's a big commitment!

Reporter has always been a dog person, but hopes people don't make rash decisions over the holidays to bring a pet home
2021-11-14 Reese1
Reese, our nine-year-old chocolate lab, is as much a member of our family as the rest of us.

I’m not going to lie  I’ve always been more of a dog person.

That said, it was definitely hard to leave empty-handed this weekend when I attended the local Kittens in Mittens“ adopt-a-thon” hosted by the Furry Friends Animal Shelter, a non-profit, no-kill organization based in Barrie dedicated to providing shelter to abandoned, lost or rescued animals.

Whatever you do, do not tell my five-year-old that Mommy was surrounded by cute, furry felines and failed to bring one home for her. (FYI: I am pretty sure she may have been a cat in a previous life!)

It was a surprise to learn that this year, despite the difficult-to-dispute adorableness that tiny little kittens automatically garner, more older cats were actually finding their new forever home, something one of the volunteers said is actually rarely the case.

As of the end of Day 1, the event had managed to match 27 cats and kittens with new families. Volunteers said potential adoptive families were lined up outside the store more than an hour before the event was set to begin, which boded very well for Day 2.

With Christmas approaching, it’s apparently not uncommon for families to consider getting a new pet as a gift for a child or loved one.

While every animal deserves to have a safe and loving home, I just hope that unlike many of the items that will get unwrapped next month and then quickly discarded as soon as something else new comes along, anyone who is considering adopting a pet has truly considered all that comes along with them.

Bringing a pet into your home is not something that should be done on a whim or without knowledge — if you are purchasing it for someone else. As the owner of a nine-year-old chocolate lab, I know it’s not easy  or cheap  to be a pet owner. There are admittedly days where we don’t feel like taking him out for a walk, or when all I want to do is cry because he ate my lunch off of the kitchen counter  again!

But, the day we brought him home, we made a commitment to him that we would love and care for him as best as we could. 

For anyone who may decide to bring a new pet into their home over the holidays, I simply hope that they will keep those things in mind, so that shelters like Furry Friends don't find themselves needing to find yet another new home for these adorable little fur balls. 

About the Author: Nikki Cole

Nikki Cole has been a community issues reporter for BarrieToday since February, 2021
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