By Forum Staff
A pet might not be the best holiday gift idea this year, at least according to State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who discussed on Monday the pros and cons of surprising a loved one with a furry new best friend.
There are many factors that come with owning a pet that a person must consider before bestowing an unsuspecting recipient with one, the senator noted. Owning a pet is a long-term commitment, Addabbo said; pets are not something that can be discarded or abandoned like an ugly sweater or unwanted toy.
“If you really want to gift someone a pet this holiday season, just be sure that they understand the responsibilities that come with owning an animal. Surprising someone with a pet isn’t good for the pet or the new owner,” Addabbo added. “Taking in a pet isn’t a passing fad; it is a commitment that can last for many years. The owner should be ready to accept that responsibility.”
When making the decision to buy a pet for someone, Addabbo advises you to first make sure the person actually wants a pet. If you are not confident that someone wants a pet as a gift, the best thing to do is ask. Find out what type of pet they would like and what type of pet they can handle.
Additionally, be sure that they can handle the costs and responsibilities associated with a new pet. There will be veterinarian bills, food costs, grooming, walks, the need for accessories and toys, and much more. If the person you are considering gifting a pet to cannot handle these costs or will not have time to dedicate to the animal, it may be best to rethink that gift – which could cost upwards of $1,000 a year.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ official position on giving pets as gifts: They should only be given to those who expressed interest in owning one, and who have the ability to care for and maintain it responsibly.
Addabbo also noted that pets do make wonderful companions and can bring unmatched joy into someone’s life; so if a person can handle everything that comes along with owning and caring for a pet, “a loveable ball of fur” can make the perfect gift.
“There are many terrific animal shelters and rescue organizations right here in Queens where the perfect pet can be adopted,” Addabbo said. “Another way you can help pets this holiday season without adopting one is by donating your time or money to a local animal shelter, which are always in need of volunteers and donations.”
By Forum Staff