Wadars warning: don't buy a last-minute pet for Christmas

It's only a few days before Christmas, and soon enough we will all be opening our presents.

Monday, 19th December 2016, 4:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:00 pm
Bear, one of the dogs looked after by Wadars Animal Rescue

But an animal rescue charity is urging any last-minute shoppers not to give a pet as a gift to a loved one this Christmas.

The Herald & Gazette are teaming up with Wadars for the seasonal appeal, which calls for an end to pets being given as gifts.

Wadars rehomes animals in the Worthing, Shoreham and Littlehampton areas, along with Storrington, Ashington and Steyning.

Tracy Cadman, operations manager for Wadars, said the decision to look after an animal should be made by the person who will own or look after it, not by a friend or family member. This is because animals take a lot of time and money to look after, including veterinary, kennelling and cattery fees, food and bedding.

She said: “Christmas present pets are often put up for rehoming about three or four months down the line, when the recipient realises that they don’t have the time, money or lifestyle to look after an animal.”

MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, has backed the campaign, as has the chair of Adur District Council Ann Bridges. Littlehampton Town Mayor, Ian Buckland, also threw his weight behind the cause.

Tracy also had some advice about what not to give existing pets as a present.

“The last thing that anyone wants to have to do at Christmas is make an emergency trip visit to the vet, so it’s really important to remember that chocolate and other sweets meant for human consumption are often toxic to animals.

“Keeping festive goodies, especially those hung on Christmas trees, out of the reach of pets is really important – but of course don’t forget to give them some lovely pet treats.”

Wadars has put rehoming on hold until after Christmas now, but people can still get in touch and start the adoption process. Then from December 28 Wadars will be placing animals in new homes again.

All of the animals needing new homes is on the website, wadars.co.uk. Bear (pictured) is a one year old crossbreed who came to Wadars because its owners could no longer afford to keep it.

Tracy also thanked the public for supporting the charity.

She said: “On behalf of Wadars I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has supported us during the year. Without the support of local people we couldn’t continue to rescue wildlife and rehome the hundreds of companion animals that we do each year.”

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