Station: Bolton Radio Station 96.5
Show: 3-6pm The Big Drive Home with big H
Guest: Miss Esperanza Martinez
Big H: Here we are in the voice of the Bolton family, with a special guest. She wants to share with us something everybody should consider before Christmas.
Esperanza: Thank you very much for letting me be here and especially to your audience who are listening to me this evening. My name is Esperanza and I live in Bolton, like most of you. I work in an animal shelter “Bolton Pets are Us” based in Bolton. We are committed to reduce the unwanted dog and cat problem in Bolton, dealing with over 2000 animals per year, either reuniting them with their owners or finding them new homes.
The aim of my visit is to make all of you think about the decision to buy a pet as a gift this Christmas. There is nothing cuter than the image of a fluffy, little puppy under the Christmas tree, big red bow tied around his neck, surrounded by brightly wrapped packages, just waiting for your children or your couple to run downstairs in their jammies as they cry out with delight. Oh! Aaah! A puppy!! That my friends, is a dangerous image. Moreover, movies and TV have given us the idea that puppies and kittens make heart-warming holiday gifts for kids and friends. But the reality is more often heart-wrenching for most of these living, breathing gifts, not to mention the families who end up giving up the pets once they grow and require more attention, training and expenses than the family can or choose to give.
According to the Humane Society, most puppies and kittens never reach their second birthdays, they are given up starved for training, socialization and affection. Even worse, some owners dump unwanted pets on the road or in the forest, where they cannot survive on their own, since dogs and cats are domesticated animals that depend on humans for care.
As noted by the Pet Action League, the months following the holidays will be very busy for rescue organizations. Many of last year´s holiday puppies and kittens are now up for adoption. It is tragic how many poor animals wind up abandoned. Is this what you expect when you give a puppy as a gift for Christmas?
If you are thinking of getting a pet, first of all you should research, prepare and then, when the time is right, seek a pet who realistically complement your family lifestyle, schedule and energy level. You and your children may enjoy the animal for a few weeks, but then resent the gift once the cute puppy starts growing into an active, needy, larger dog.0
What’s more, the holidays are busy, we are either traveling or having a house full of guests. Bringing home a new pet on Christmas day means you can either ignore your guests or that new puppy or kitten. Both require lots of attention, I’m sure you don’t want to leave your children and the new pet without supervision. In my personal experience, the first weeks of a new animal are too critical for him and stressful for you. When I first teach my new puppy to do his business outside we did trips to the backyard every hour –even through the night. Yes, I got up with my darling little fluff ball and take him outside. During the day, like most of the puppies, he barked and dug and ran away and chew my shoes and destroyed my laptop power cord… Now I think, this would have been chaotic during Christmas.
At this point, you are thinking that’s not going to happen to you because is your son or daughter gift and responsibility. But do you think your child would be more interested in pet care than in friends and social live? While your children can help you with some age-appropriate