A MP and mayor are two of the local figures that have come out to endorse our Christmas campaign.
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.
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.
He said: “As a pet owner myself I know only too well how expensive animals can be to look after. Having a pet is definitely a long-term commitment and no one should go into it lightly. Please support the Wadars campaign this Christmas and don’t give pets as presents.”
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.
Littlehampton town mayor Ian BucklandHaving a pet is definitely a long-term commitment and no one should go into it lightly
She said: “Christmas is an extremely busy time for most people and definitely not the time to try and settle a new animal into the home.
“The animals that we rehome have already had one upheaval by coming into us, then going to a new home can be stressful for them, so bringing them into a busy and noisy festive household is far from perfect and is more likely to result in the animal not settling and possibly becoming homeless again. 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.”
As part of the campaign, Wadars is also warning people not to leave pets at home on their own for long periods of time over the Christmas holidays, and to keep decorations out of the reach of pets. According to Tracy, kittens in particular like tinsel and can swallow it, leading to expensive veterinary bills.
She also advised pet owners not to overfeed their animals with festive treats.
Based in Worthing, Wadars Animal Rescue has been providing care and protection for animals of all kinds since 1969. At any one time the team has around 50 dogs, cats, and other pets in its care that are looking for new homes.
To adopt a pet in the New Year, contact Wadars on 01903 247111.
Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?
It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.
There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.