David Jean reports, from: The Advertiser January 01, 2011 12:00am [Adelaide, South Australia]
A KITTEN abandoned for playing with decorations is among 70 pets dumped at shelters since Christmas.
And the excuses are flowing in almost as quickly as the animals themselves, as frustrated shelter workers predict more than 500 animals will be dumped on their doorsteps by the end of January.
A 10-week-old kitten was dropped off at the RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter on Boxing Day because its owner was upset that it had played with the decorations on her Christmas tree.
Another was surrendered to the Animal Welfare League because it had a urinary tract infection, while two dogs were abandoned because they were thought to be hyperactive.
RSPCA SA spokeswoman Tracey Taylor said the organisation had also received a call from someone wanting to abandon their pet cat because it had given birth to six kittens on Christmas Day.
As of yesterday afternoon, 29 kittens, one cat, nine dogs and three puppies had been surrendered to RSPCA SA.
Twenty-five animals had been been handed in to the Animal Welfare League.
Animal Welfare league spokeswoman Brenda Champion said the number of surrenders was actually much higher, because there was no way to keep track of the number of people who let their animal stray.
She said 280 animals were surrendered by owners at the Wingfield shelter between Christmas and the end of January of 2010, with indications a similar amount would end up on its doorstep next year.
“People are not really considering the lifetime commitment of owning a pet,” Ms Champion said.
“Buying a pet needs to be an informed decision, not an impulse. We hope these handover numbers will decrease but, sadly, the reality is people are still buying pets without due consideration.
“It is essential that pet owners consider all of the lifestyle and financial aspects of pet ownership.”
“Many issues can easily be pre-empted by going through the pre-adoption counselling with one of our animal experts when you adopt from an RSPCA Shelter,” Ms Taylor said.
“We ensure the needs of the owner and the animal are complimentary so both can live safely and happily.”