Many reasons not to give pets as presents


Christmas article

Just because animals look cute under the Christmas tree doesn’t mean they make good holiday gifts. Caring for animals is an enormous responsibility, and they should never be carelessly given as gifts to anyone. Many people who receive animals as gifts find that they’re unable to make the lifelong commitment to caring for their new animal companion, no matter how much they’d like to make it work.

Animal shelters are filled beyond capacity with homeless animals, many of whom were former “pets”—all because a child lost interest and no one else stepped in and took the time to provide training and care. Dogs need outdoor exercise every single day, and a huge time investment is required to train (and housetrain) a puppy—children are not mature enough to handle this responsibility.




Does the person have the space, time, and money to care for an animal? (Caring for an animal companion requires a lifelong commitment, which could go on for over 20 years.) Costs can add up quickly, not only for food but also for vet visits and emergency care when the dog swallows a sock or the cat takes a few bites from a toxic houseplant. Is the recipient a busy person? If so, a regular pet sitter and/or dog-walker may be needed. Forbes estimates that the cost of caring for a cat will be “at least $780 a year and $16,800 over [the cat’s] possible 15-year existence.” For a larger dog, it estimates a price tag of “$1,570 a year and, over a 12-year lifetime, [total costs] ranging from $22,025 to upwards of $82,929 for folks using dog walkers.” Forbes’ high estimate for a small dog is even pricier!


No one knows what the future holds. A lot can change over the years that could affect a person’s ability to provide proper care for an animal. And often these unfortunate pets end up getting shunted around from relative to relative or left at a shelter. 


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RCHS announces a change in direction

We wish to advise all our supporters of a change in our scope of operations effective October 30,2019.

We have been fortunate to have had a donated cat shelter space in New Westminster since the spring of 2006 and hundreds of volunteers to donate their time and efforts to give so many cats the care they deserve until we were able to place them in homes. And now -- to coincide with the completion of the new City of New Westminster shelter on Boyne Street in Queensborough -- we have closed our cat shelter as of October 30, 2019. The New Westminster shelter offers a modern and comfortable place with safeguards and space to prevent outbreaks of disease which were, unfortunately, lacking at our shelter.

We are not, however, going out of business! We will continue to provide for our 60 plus special needs and senior cats in foster care as well as maintaining our low cost spay/neuter program to prevent the proliferation of homeless cats and kittens. Read more …