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Adopt-a-better gift

By Valery Perez, December 22 2023—

The holidays are here. A time for cheer, good food, and stressing over what perfect gift to give to the people you love. Joy to the world. Wouldn’t it be so cute if you bought a puppy or kitty or bunny as a gift to someone you love? Not really — unless you’re ready for it. 

Adopting an animal is a big decision. It’s not the same as buying a teddy bear or a necklace. That’s a living, breathing being with needs. Lots of needs. Take it from someone with a new puppy in their life. I don’t think I’ve had a proper night’s sleep since my puppy’s arrival, my bank account is drained, and every other sock of mine has been chewed to nothing. 

Despite what sounds like my complaining, I’m extremely happy to have him. He brings joy, love and fun times all around. Since I don’t live alone, the decision had to be made as a unit. Everyone in my household knows what we signed up for and is prepared to do what is necessary for the puppy. We want him to be happy, comfortable, well-trained and incredibly loved. 

It is a well-known fact that shelters often experience an increase in surrenders after the holidays. This year alone, the Calgary Humane society claims that they’ve had a 148 per cent increase in puppy intake to their shelters. This comes after the increased demand for pets during the COVID pandemic, in which people stuck at home wanted companions to aid in their loneliness. Pets can be a gift, only if you’re ready and realistic about the responsibilities that come along with them. 

This article is not meant to shame anyone who has ever had to give up a pet. I know that can be an unpleasant decision to make for most. Life happens, the economy sucks, and one must make tough decisions to survive. The animals don’t know that though, all they know is that they were in one place where they were comfortable and greatly loved, and now they’re in another that will never compare to a proper home. 

If you crave the companionship of a little furry guy, but can’t commit for the rest of their lives, a good alternative is to open up your home to foster temporarily. The Calgary Humane Society is currently hosting the Home for the Holidays event, their aim being to provide all of the animals in their shelter a home during the holiday season. Most often, food and any other necessities are provided. All you need to give is your time and your home. That way the animals get a comfortable bed and you get a furry friend to provide a bit more cheer in your home. 

This article is a part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.

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