Want a pet? Weigh up the pros and cons first

Steph McCawley, supporter engagement officer at Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch of the RSPCA.
Steph McCawley, supporter engagement officer at Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch of the RSPCA.

Pets bring joy and companionship and soon become much-loved members of the family…but potential owners must consider the commitment and money which they will have to dedicate to caring for an animal before taking the plunge and introducing a new four-legged friend into their household.  

Animal welfare charity the RSPCA is urging Derbyshire families to think long and hard about the implications of pet ownership. Cheryl Hague, press officer for the organisation’s Midlands region, said: “Pets are a lifelong commitment, so we urge people to consider carefully before adopting a pet to ensure that this pet will be loved for life .

Rocky, a male American bull dog is two years and two months old and has been looking for a home since September 2019.

Rocky, a male American bull dog is two years and two months old and has been looking for a home since September 2019.

“Here at the RSPCA, we think it is incredibly important to give animals a second chance in a new home and we are extremely grateful to everyone who adopts a rescue animal at any time of year.

“However, as the famous saying goes - a pet is for life, not just for Christmas. Therefore we would urge anyone thinking of adopting a pet to consider the long-term commitment required to properly care for an animal. People should take into account whether they have the time and money to care for the animal 365 days of the year for the next 10 to 20 years.

“If you are confident that a pet is the right addition to your home, the RSPCA recommends visiting a rescue centre with all the family so they can pick a pet which will be best suited to their particular lifestyle.” 

In October and November this year, the RSPCA centre in Chesterfield rehomed 147 animals. Volunteers at the base managed to find new homes for nearly 300 dogs in 2018. The rehoming centre adopted 50 animals in December last year.

Beautiful ginger tom Azekiel is eight years and six months and has been looking for a home since November 2019.

Beautiful ginger tom Azekiel is eight years and six months and has been looking for a home since November 2019.

Steph McCawley, supporter engagement officer for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch of the RSPCA, said: “We urge anyone thinking of adding a pet to their family to think of adopting from our Chesterfield Animal Centre on Spital Lane first where we have many dogs, who have been either abandoned or mistreated, waiting for a forever loving home.  However, over the Christmas period, we want potential new owners to consider what this will mean for them especially over this busy and sometimes chaotic period.”

To contact the Chesterfield RSPCA rehoming centre, call 01246 273358 or go to https://chesterfield-rspca.org.uk

Richard Grainger, animal care assistant at Chesterfield RSPCA's rehoming centre, gives Sam the American bull dog  a cuddle.

Richard Grainger, animal care assistant at Chesterfield RSPCA's rehoming centre, gives Sam the American bull dog a cuddle.

Tom is a seven-year-old short haired male who has been at Chesterfield RSPCA rehoming centre for a month.

Tom is a seven-year-old short haired male who has been at Chesterfield RSPCA rehoming centre for a month.

Coco is a friendly, initially nervous, eight-year-old pug who would benefit from a quiet and steady new home.

Coco is a friendly, initially nervous, eight-year-old pug who would benefit from a quiet and steady new home.

Buster, a Staffordshire bull terrier, is two years and nine months old and has been looking for a new home since June 2019.

Buster, a Staffordshire bull terrier, is two years and nine months old and has been looking for a new home since June 2019.

Verity is just one-year-old and has been in the RSPCA's Chesterfield rehoming centre since November this year

Verity is just one-year-old and has been in the RSPCA's Chesterfield rehoming centre since November this year

Missy was a scared and extremely anxious dog when she first arrived at the Chesterfield RSPCA rehoming centre. After nearly a year of hard work and dedication from the staff,  Missy grew in confidence and finally won the hearts of her new family.

Missy was a scared and extremely anxious dog when she first arrived at the Chesterfield RSPCA rehoming centre. After nearly a year of hard work and dedication from the staff, Missy grew in confidence and finally won the hearts of her new family.

Fly, Fly, a femalePatterdale terrier, is 11 years old and has been looking for a new home since November 2018.

Fly, Fly, a femalePatterdale terrier, is 11 years old and has been looking for a new home since November 2018.