Most parents will be familiar with requests for a cute puppy or bouncy bunny on their child’s letter to Santa.
But unfortunately this often leads to animals being bought by families that are unable to properly care for them.
With this in mind, the SSPCA puts a ban on re-homing young pets from December 19 to January 3.
But during the ban, prospective pet owners can still register an interest, giving them a chance to consider whether they will be able to provide a suitable home.
The Tele took a trip to the charity’s Angus, Fife and Tayside Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre at Petterden, to find out what animals need a new home.
Elliot Hay, manager of the centre, said: “Each year we care for unwanted animals that were given as gifts and the novelty has worn off.”
“People should consider the commitment they are making when taking on any animal.
“Animals need attention, care and love which is a life-long obligation.
“Food, veterinary treatment and toys to provide mental stimulation can be very costly so there is also the financial commitment to think about with any pet.
“It should be a process that is thought through, everybody should be involved. Giving somebody a dog is not like giving a TV, you can’t just give it back.”
“In the worst cases, unwanted pets can be abandoned. This is a criminal offence, and needless to say, extremely distressing for the animal.
“It’s not just young animals that come to us, older animals can be discarded to make way for new ones. People in the past have brought an elderly dog to us before going to pick up a new puppy and sadly this is more common than you would expect.
“We would like to ensure everyone, animals included, have a wonderful Christmas.
“But we want to ensure this happy ending extends to the rest of the animal’s life, not just the weeks after.”
Looking for his forever home is three year old Lurcher, Buddy.
Elliot said: “We’ve had him since April. The average is a month roughly. Buddy comes from a hard background, he was attacked as a pup by another dog, which was never then corrected. He had a fear of dogs.”
Although Buddy can now walk alongside other dogs, he requires a home with no other animals and no young children.
Elliot added: “He’s very good-natured, he is quite bouncy, quite hyper. He needs to be the only animal in the house, and needs a garden where it is enclosed so he can run about.”
Suzie came to the centre at the beginning of September.
She is seven years old and timid. She came to the centre after her previous owner went into full-time care.
Suzie would suit a quiet household, where she can be quite laid-back and lazy. She would benefit from a house with older children and somewhere where she can come out of her shell.
Elliot adds: “Cats are really prone to stress so somewhere that is quite quiet for her would be ideal”
The centre also has two snakes on the lookout for their new home; Chilli, a seven-year-old milk snake, and Banana, a seven-year-old albino corn snake.
Elliot said: “They came from the same house but don’t need to be homed together. They appear to be very well-handled so would be good for first time owners.”
Meanwhile, Shadow the rabbit, who has been in the centre for more than a month, is also in need of a home.
She was handed after being attacked by a dog in her previous owner’s house, where. She is not particularly well handled.
Due to this, an owner with more experience handling bunnies would be preferable, as she can be a bit nippy.
She could potentially live with another rabbit and could go to any home providing that children would not be her main carers.
Anyone who would like to discuss re-homing a pet can get in touch with the centre on 03000 999 999.