“If you are thinking of buying a pet as a Christmas present, I urge you to ask yourself if the person you are buying the pet for is willing and able to care for it – and has a suitable property to keep it in,’’ Mr Page said.
“You may think that a new dog or cat seems like an adorable gift, but please make sure the person wants a pet, or can take care of that pet.’’
“Owning a pet is an eight, 10 or even 12-year commitment – it’s a responsibility that lasts for the lifetime of the pet.’’
As the Minister responsible for the Companion Animals Act, Mr Page said he was well aware of the number of pets – particularly cats and dogs – being dumped or given back to the pound after only a short time with their intended owners.
Mr Page’s comments come just before the Companion Animals Taskforce is due to report to the Minister on euthanasia rate, re-homing options for surrendered or abandoned companion animals, dangerous dogs, puppy farms and other issues.
Last year 13,661 dogs and 17,991 cats were euthanased in NSW pounds – about one out of every three dogs in pounds are euthanased, and about seven out of 10 cats.
“These numbers are distressing and are the reason the Liberals & Nationals Government set up the taskforce,” Mr Page said.
The Companion Animals Taskforce is chaired by Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, who today said: “If you are thinking about getting a pet for someone for Christmas, check first to ensure that they are willing to take their responsibility seriously.’’
“It might not be quite the same surprise, but you will be protecting an innocent animal.
“And it is important that anyone thinking of buying a pet – for themselves, their families or as a surprise for someone – ensures that it is an appropriate pet for their circumstances.”