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The Scottish SPCA is warning against buying pets for Christmas

By Kirsty Brown

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The Scottish SPCA is urging people to be aware of the pitfalls of buying a pet for Christmas.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity’s animal rescue and rehoming centres stop rehoming over the festive period each year to deter people taking an animal home as a gift.

It won’t be possible to rehome a young animal from the Scottish SPCA between December 19 and January 3; all of the centres will be open for the public to visit but not to give an animal a home.

The Aberdeen centre's Louise Griese said: “Each year we care for unwanted animals that were given as gifts and the novelty has worn off.

“People should consider the commitment they are making when taking on any animal.

“Animals need attention, care and love which is a life-long obligation.

“Food, veterinary treatment and toys to provide mental stimulation can be very costly so there is also the financial commitment to think about with any pet.

“In the worst cases, unwanted pets can be abandoned.

"This is a criminal offence, and needless to say, extremely distressing for the animal.

“It’s not just young animals that come to us, older animals can be discarded to make way for new ones.

"People in the past have brought an elderly dog to us before going to pick up a new puppy and sadly this is more common than you would expect.

“We want to ensure this happy ending extends to the rest of the animal’s life, not just the weeks after.”

Anyone who would like advice on rehoming or caring for a pet can contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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