It is the season for goodwill to all and the Gore District SPCA is urging people to make sure pets are well looked after and are wanted.
Gore and Districts SPCA shelter supervisor Cath McDowall said giving pets for Christmas was not always a good idea.
“If you are going to give an animal as a gift you need to be 150% sure the people want them,” Mrs McDowall said.
The week after last Christmas the SPCA started to get unwanted pets that were Christmas presents, she said.
Some pets given for Christmas are not desexed and their offspring are arriving at the shelter now.
The shelter was overrun with little felines as it was the kitten season.
The shelter is home to about 35 kittens, as well as adult cats and several dogs.
Having cats that had not been desexed increased the risk of them contracting diseases.
If cats were desexed they did not wander and were good pets.
“Then the cats can have a happy life,” she said.
People need to make sure pets are either booked into kennels or have someone looking after them over the holiday period.
Dogs needed shelter, shade and water.
“They dehydrate quite quickly,” she said.
Another vital message was not to leave dogs in cars as the heat could cause dehydration, she said.
Gore District Council animal control administrator Rowena Burnby said the pound did not traditionally experience an increase in numbers during the holiday period.
It was steady all through the year, she said.