Think hard before you buy a new pet

EDITOR – It is at this time of year that the Christmas purchasing frenzy starts to gain momentum, and with that in mind, please may I beg the public to think carefully with regard to purchasing pets.

Nothing is more appealing for a young family than to rescue a beautiful young puppy as a present, but at the risk of being a killjoy, I am begging anyone thinking of buying such an animal to consider very seriously the circumstances in which the animal was bred.

I appreciate that there are breeders who are genuine and practise the highest standards of animal husbandry and welfare, but there is always another side of the coin where people cruelly and indiscriminately breed from their stud stock without giving those animals respite in between litters, not enough nutrition to sustain them, and treat them as if they were just a production line in a car factory, just for the sake of a quick buck.

If people must buy a dog at Christmas I beg that they research the exact circumstances their new puppy has been born into. After all, it will be a major purchase and the health and well-being of this new addition is dependant upon the care given before and after birth.

The very best present of all is to give a dog or puppy a secure and loving home, so why not go to any of the rescue centres, where there are countless very beautiful dogs and puppies which really need your help to give them what they need above all else, somewhere to call home, warmth, good food and endless affection.

Whether the animal you choose is a pedigree or a mutt, they will pay you back a thousand fold for giving THEM the best Christmas present of all.

Please just think. I wouldn’t swap our rescue dogs for the world.

G.P Hoblyn