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Owners' neglect of pets 'a myth'

Friday December 20th 2013

"A dog's for life, not just for Christmas" has been the refrain of animal campaigners concerned that a pet given as a gift is more likely to be neglected and quickly discarded. New figures dispute this, however.

As many as 96% of people who received pets as presents reported it either raised or had no effect on their love for that animal. This is according to an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) poll.

The figures suggest that recipients of animal presents will care for them, take out Pet Insurance and keep them as much as owners who undertake routine adoptions.

In addition, 86% of the animals in the survey are still in the home. This is a figure - a number approximately equivalent with the proportion of pets kept that are not given as gifts.

ASPCA Vice President of Shelter Research and Development, Dr Emily Weiss, said the "no pets as gifts" warning is a myth. Dr. Weiss said: "Christmas is coming up, birthdays are every day, and dogs and cats in some shelters around the country are missing chances at homes, so it's time to put this myth to bed."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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