Friday, December 17, 2010

Well this is unfortunate

The Halifax News Net Paper was thrown in front of my house today and since I love to read flyers I opened it up tonight while I was watching the television - and the above page opened up on page 3.

How unfortunate for the average pet owner to be reading SUCH a mixed message. The article at the top - telling people NOT to get their pet at Christmas time - from a rescue that I actually highly respect and do a ton of volunteer work with - and who was just emailing back and forth with today about this very subject - and then the article below it from the NS SPCA with their highly progressive article - and the philosophy that I also personally believe in - and what is the philosophy that is actually putting animals in homes where they stay in for their whole lives - because one would assume that adoption policies are the same at Christmas time as they are at any other time of year - so why would animals go to homes where they're going to be returned at Christmas if all the dots and t's haven't been crossed?

No animal should ever be given as a gift - but if I personally was going to be looking for an animal - I'd wait until Christmas to get them - because I'm going to be off and I'd have a chunk of time to integrate them into the family - in fact - I got one of my best dogs - Charlie's sister Leonard - 4 days before Christmas - at a very LOVELY back yard breeder - because no one else would give us a puppy!

We got lucky and Leonard was healthy - and 2 1/2 months later we got her biological brother Charlie at the SPCA - but we were exactly the same owners - at Christmas, and then in February. Why would we have been turned down on December 21st at the SPCA? It doesn't make any sense.

I'm SO glad that policies have changed at the NS SPCA since then - it's too bad that other rescues haven't followed suit - yet. Bide A-While and SHAID in Bridgewater are still miles behind. It's too bad. And it seems like some others also have a way to go too.


  1. Joan...we have been adopting out right until December 24th for the last 8-9 years or so. Shelters all over North America have changed their policies and thousands of animals are finding loving, wonderful forever homes because of it. Do we really want to turn good adoptive families who have made a concious decision to add a companion to their home away?? This is why we changed our policies...because we don't want these families to go to the pet store or back yard breeder! I hope that any shelter who is still refusing adoptions at Christmas to approved families will rethink their policies. Just call one of the thousands of shelters that are doing it and they will see that it's a great change!

  2. Thanks for letting me know that other shelters that I respect are also doing progressive work Tracy! That's fantastic!

  3. I actually did a personal spin about it last night on my blog .... my daughter and her family have just adopted a lovely young dog BECAUSE the holiday season when everyone is off school and work in their house is the perfect time to settle their new pal in
    They adopted from the Western Quebec SPCA who ARE a no kill shelter taking part in the home for the holidays program. Given everything that is now known, holiday adoptions are part and parcel of the No Kill Equation now, eh?

  4. Atlantic Small Dog Rescue is still open for business. We just adopted out DIXIE!! I'm so freakin' excited. She was in foster for 6 months. It's the best Christmas present I could have gotten, and definitely the best Christmas present for Dixie! YEA! Like you said, as long as all the Ts are crossed what difference does the time of year make? We still did reference checks and a home visit just like we would any other time of the year.

  5. I am actually somewhere in the middle - leaning towards not adopting right before Christmas. If the adopters have thought carefully about getting a dog, done research and their holiday routine isn't too different from their everyday routine, I agree that getting a dog in December isn't any different than any other time of the year, and I believe those are the exceptions Annette mentioned in the article.

    But, changing places can be pretty stressful for a dog, and changing places and all the commotion that comes with the season for many families can be overwhelming for the dog - and the new family. From a behaviorally point I'd rather have a dog move into a new place when things are normal, fairly low-key, and then increase stimuli gradually. Being at home and showering all the attention on the new dog can also backfire. It can either be too overwhelming for the dog, or he gets used to that routine and panics when his humans leave for the first time for work and he is alone at home.

    As it is always the case when it comes to dogs (and their humans), I don't like to generalize. Is adopting out right before Christmas a good or bad idea? My answer is: it depends - on dog and family.

    Might a rescue group lose the one or other adopter because they don't hand over the pooch right before Christmas? Possibly. But then the question is if they would want someone who runs to the pet store so that they have a pup for under the tree, to adopt one of their charges.

  6. Netta said she was having problems leaving a comment - so this was the comment she was trying to leave -

    "Hi ya, as we discussed earlier this week, the point or the article was to be “impulse” purchase, not if adoption at Christmas was an issue, it was to focus on if it is a family decision, the commitment and responsibility of owning a pet. Matching families with the right companion"