IFAW: Think Carefully Before Giving Puppies and Kittens as Gifts

Friday, 24 November, 2006
Yarmouth Port, MA
The holiday shopping season is in full swing and many people, for the first time, consider giving puppies and kittens as gifts to those they love. IFAW cautions would-be pet owners (and well-meaning gift givers) to think carefully before purchasing a dog, cat, or other animal as a pet. An animal is not an “impulse buy.”
  • Caring for a pet is a lifelong commitment.  Don’t assume your loved one wants or will accept that responsibility.
  • Choosing a pet is a personal experience that requires research and discovering which pet is a good match for the adopter’s preferences, lifestyle, personality, and environment as well as a good match for the pet.
  • Pets are sentient beings, not objects for display on a shelf.  They deserve love and respect.  To force someone to embrace these values is unrealistic and unfair, to both the person and the pet.

So, before wrapping up that puppy or kitten in holiday paper, or placing a bow on top his or her head, take a moment and reconsider. Pets are living beings, not tokens, objects, or gifts.

Concerned about helping animals?

Consider a gift to help animals. Go to www.animalgift.org  and honor family and friends this holiday season with a special gift from IFAW. Make your gift really count this year by supporting IFAW's work to save Canada's baby seals, rescue and release orphaned bear cubs, protect endangered elephants from poaching, and much more. With a unique gift to help an animal in need, you can give something meaningful to the animal lover in your life and make a difference long after the holiday season ends.

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Press Contact

Chris Cutter (IFAW, Headquarters)
Contact phone:
1 (508) 737-4623
Contact email:


Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters