This holiday season, many families are looking to add a dog to their family. But with a disturbing new trend, many dog parents are surrendering their senior dogs just to purchase a puppy instead. It’s a horrible reality that many shelters have been noticing, especially around the holidays. However, older dogs often need familiarity and comfort the most. So, many people are wondering how any dog parent could do something so horrible.
It’s a difficult situation for any dog lover to understand, but Pam Peebles, the executive director of the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center explains that this is sadly a reality. The number of senior dogs coming into the shelter is much higher than it should be.
Unfortunately, Peebles thinks that the reason so many humans surrender their older dogs is because they’re worried about the costs. They fear that they won’t be able to handle the veterinary bills, so they just assume getting a puppy will be cheaper. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Puppies are actually much pricier than many families realize.
“Whether they’re free or not, you still have the expense of veterinary visits and booster vaccinations. They often need a series of three to four vaccinations and neutering,” said Peebles. “There’s so many expenses that come with a new animal, and plus all that stuff, you have to get all the new stuff. The cost of taking care of the older dog is, arguably, not that more expensive.”
So, if someone can’t afford a senior dog, then they should not have a puppy either. Dogs take a lot of time and money to properly care for, so if someone is not responsible enough to support their dog in their old ages, then they should not have a dog at all. Giving up a senior dog for a puppy is an unforgivable action.
Adopt a Senior Dog!
The biggest issue during the holiday season is that many families are looking for a puppy as a Christmas present, but many families aren’t prepared for this commitment. Sadly, they overlook the fact that there are many great senior dogs just waiting to be adopted. Plus, a dog is a member of the family, so they should never be a surprise gift.
“There’s not a lot of folks out there that are going to be excited about a surprise animal if they have no idea that it’s coming. I think most people want to choose their own [dog]. I think it’s exciting. It’s a really big deal,” Peebles said.
So, instead of surprising your family with a puppy this Christmas, please prepare your home for a senior dog instead. Senior dogs make such great companions, but they are often overlooked at the shelter. People need to learn that a dog is a lifelong commitment, not just a Christmas gift. Hopefully with more families adopting senior dogs, less senior dogs will be surrendered for puppies.
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