Caring is best gift


The following letter was addressed to the Chamber of Commerce.

I was speaking to friend about how Easter would be here and how I wanted to write a letter to the editor regarding giving live animals as gifts. During the conversation, I discovered that at a recent chamber breakfast there was mention of a possible auctioning of a puppy at one of your upcoming events. I am sure that this decision was made very innocently and perhaps looked at as a fun and a happy thing to do. However, as a doctor of psychology, I have many case histories of people who have “innocently” given away animals. Many of these cases involve the animal ending up abused. Having an animal enter one’s home should be a very thought-out decision. It is a life-long commitment, which may involve illnesses, injuries or accidents. A puppy is quite an obligation! And, even if a person thinks it great to get a puppy, what might start out as fun, can end up a chore!

Also, winning a prize is different than working to obtain whatever the prize is! There isn’t that much history, hence, it’s easier to discard. Currently I am trying to find a home for a dog, left with people because the owners moved to a place that wouldn’t allow dogs. When I was a child I always wanted a dog. My parents got me a dog for my 16th birthday and I have had dogs (and now cats) ever since. Before moving to California, my Great Danes always lived in apartments. I would never move into a place that didn’t accept animals! And, I made sure I gave my dogs a lot of exercise. In other words, I took responsibility. This is the difference. Had I won a dog I doubt that I would have made such careful decisions. I strongly urge you to reconsider your plan to auction a live puppy. Perhaps a well-made large replica of a dog might be more appropriate.

Alessandra DeClario, Ph.D.