Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2014 Contents The culture in T&T is such that many of
us know of a friend or relative whose pet is
having young ones and we often hand these
out like sweets! While too many sweets are
bad for us, too many puppies and kittens are
bad for the entire dog and cat population.
Thousands of animals are killed every
year in T&T because they cannot find homes
and become "nuisances" to society. Neu-
tering is a way of keeping the dog and cat
population at a sustainable level.
Christmas is a season associated with
kindness and goodwill. If you have decided
that you can provide a good home for a pet,
consider opening your heart and door to a
pet who needs it---adopt.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 14, 2014
Christmas is just around the
corner and top of the list to Santa
may be a puppy or kitten.
Before giving in to your chil-
dren s pleas, seriously consider
the requirements you must provide
once you welcome a furry addition
to your family.
All too often, puppies and kit-
tens that are cute and fun to play
with when they are tiny, outgrow
their charm and their appeal dis-
Children returning to school in
the New Year become bogged
down with homework and studies,
their social lives take precedence,
and they are no longer committed
to spending time with the pet they
promised faithfully to care for.
Mom and Dad are often the ones
left holding the leash.
Pets are a huge responsibility.
They can live for many years and
must rely on their owners for their
well-being. Food, water, toys, vet-
erinary attention, medication,
beds, suitable and secure shelter
(eg a fenced yard where the dog
can run around freely), pet sham-
poo, and grooming equipment are
just a few examples of some of
the things you need to buy for
Items which cost no money but
are equally important and often
even more limited, include your
time and affection. If these
resources are not in abundance
now, then wait until you can ded-
icate these to a pet.
If you have the money and time
to commit to a pet this Christmas,
you have various options for
choosing a future friend.
You can purchase a puppy or
kitten from a breeder but ensure
that the breeder is a reputable one.
A reputable breeder genuinely
cares about the welfare of animals
and does not see them as simply
sources of income. Seek testimo-
nials from other clients of this
breeder. Visit the breeding kennels
and make sure the dogs are in
good health as well as housed in
a hygienic, comfortable and spa-
cious environment. Interact with
the mother and father of the
puppy you are interested in to
assess for genetic problems which
may be physical (eg hip dysplasia)
or behavioural (eh high levels of
aggression or anxiety).
Ask questions such as when the
puppies are weaned from the
mother and what vaccinations
they have received. A reputable
breeder should be able to answer
any questions on the breed and
should know how important the
first few weeks of life are to shap-
ing a puppy s temperament so
should not separate the puppies
from their mother until they are
12 weeks old.
A reputable breeder shows con-
cern for the future homes of the
puppies and will do a home check
to assess the environment as well
as keep in touch with you after
the sale. A contract should be
signed and any registration papers
immediately handed over to the
new owner. Beware of any "breed-
er" who tells you that you have
to wait for documentation.
Pet shops are increasingly visible
points of sale for pets but you
must be cautious.
Pet shops in T&T are not reg-
ulated due to the lack of any leg-
islation; thus health, safety and
welfare standards are often not
adhered to. This can result in direct
or inadvertent abuse of animals due
to issues such as poor hygiene,
unsuitable cages and environment,
inappropriate and inadequate food
and water; as well as increased risk
of diseases being harboured by ani-
mals if veterinary care is not at
Until pet shops in T&T are
required by law to maintain high
standards for the animals under their
care it may be wiser to not purchase
live animals from such institutions.
Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ram-
nath 2014. For further info,
contact 689-8113 or
"4" pots $25,
"6" pots $50,
"8" pots $145,
"10" pots $195,
Hanging baskets $150.
Colourful foil pot covers available.
Open Monday- Saturday 8:15am- 5pm,
Sundays 9am- 2pm
Churchill Roosevelt Highway Aranguez
(West bound lane).
WHOLE & RETAIL AVAILABLE 1206027
Adopt a pet this Christmas
Re-enactors stand behind a newly unveiled World War I Christmas Truce monument in Ploegsteert, Belgium
on December 11. The monument was unveiled, by UEFA president Michel Platini and the Mayor of
Ploegsteert Gilbert Deleu, to commemorate soldiers who took part in a spontaneous truce on some sites of
the front line during the First World War. AP PHOTO
The culture in T&T is
such that many of us
know of a friend or
relative whose pet is
having young ones and
we often hand these out
like sweets! While too
many sweets are bad for
us, too many puppies
and kittens are bad for
the entire dog and cat
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