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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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 Post subject: Unexpected pet poor idea
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:01 am
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A letter in the Dec. 9 Tomahawk Leader:

To the Editor:

The holiday season encourages us to think of those in need and gift giving. There are many worthy causes in our area that are always in need of support such as HAVEN, the Food Pantry and the Lincoln County Humane Society. Although it may seem logical to give an animal, especially a homeless pet, as a present during the holiday season, this well intentioned but unwarranted responsibility often does not work out well in the end.

Animals need responsible owners with the time to train them, love them, and care for their needs. Medical care for animals can be expensive, dog training a long process, and even finding a pet sitter can be difficult. These are only a few of the things to be considered before bringing a pet into your home. Putting such a responsibility on an unsuspected, unprepared person is putting the animal into a risky situation because the new pet will soon lose its novelty and become a responsibility. Hopefully the person will commit to this pet, love it for its entire life, and not begrudge the animal for a situation in which it had no control.

Realistically only one in three pets have a home that lasts for their entire life and it is far too precarious to bestow a pet on someone that isn’t prepared enough to find one for him/herself.
There are many things that a person can do to support homeless pets throughout the holiday season. First, donate to a humane society in honor of someone as a gift. Second, pay for a membership to LCHS for someone that loves pets and would like to get involved with the shelter. Finally, sponsor a pet in honor of someone. You can pay for medical expenses for an individual animal or simply take the kids shopping for much needed supplies like bleach and canned cat food, allowing the children to bring the donations to the shelter to see how what a difference a toy will make in the life of a kitten.

Thank you for thinking of our homeless pets and hopefully each animal will find a well-prepared, loving family. We appreciate the support of the community throughout the holiday season and for the continued support throughout the years; you make a difference in the lives of the animals.

Best wishes throughout the holiday season,

Liz Friedenfels
Lincoln County Humane Society

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