THE Animals in Need Foundation has encouraged Gibraltar residents wanting to give loved ones a new pet for Christmas to ‘foster a rescue animal instead’.
The Foundation said there had been ‘a record low of adoptions this year’, leaving many pets desperately in need of homes.
It warned that animals bought as Christmas gifts from breeders can quickly end up homeless in the first months of the New Year.
“If you are thinking of purchasing a pet for Christmas, please think carefully about the responsibility you are taking on,” Animals in Need Foundation member Eugenie Cottrell said.
“It is likely to be a 15-year commitment in terms of care and cost.
“Every year we experience a surge in animals needing to be rehomed when their owners change their minds or can’t afford to care for them.”
Minister for the Environment John Cortes added: “Please remember that pets are for life, not just for Christmas.”
Christmas in Gibraltar is traditionally a fusion of both British and Spanish customs and food.
Parties held across the Rock at work and in family groups feature the usual British turkey with stuffing but also ‘polvorones’ and ‘turron’.
Wine and sherry take their place on the table alongside Irish creamy liqueurs and draft beer.
Like in both places, it is very much a family occasion but because of the sunny weather predicted over the next few days, many of those parties will be held outside, in parks and even at the beach.
And with the pandemic officially over even as new cases are recorded, the government will also be putting on events in public squares so people can celebrate together in style.