This Christmas, get a second hand dog.

 

A puppy or kitten might seem like a great idea for a Christmas present, but animal welfare groups are urging people to “paws before purchase” this year and consider adopting a rescue pet instead.

Every year, rehoming centres and rescue groups care for thousands of dogs and cats across the country — more than 900 are currently listed as ready for adoption to a forever home.

A new video from the Animal Welfare League and Purina features 12 (particularly cute) pets in need of a family this holiday season.

“The festive season is a busy time for animal shelters. We see an increased interest in adoption, which is great, but we are also extremely careful to ensure that people are being properly matched with pets for the long term,” says Stuart Gillies from the AWLA.

“The 12 Pets of Christmas video is our way of showing the adorable dogs and cats waiting to be adopted, highlighting the joy they bring and to remind people that the best animal purchase is a considered one.”

Watch it here.

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The group wants to remind people that having a pet should never be an impulse decision or given as a surprise gift because unfortunately, despite good intentions, many animals purchased on a whim find themselves in shelters soon after.

That said, an animal can become a beautiful addition to the family, just do your research and choose the best one for your household.

Pets bought through AWLA are trained, de-sexed, micro chipped, flea and worm-free, vaccinated and given a full bill of health.

Find out more — and maybe find your new best friend — on the their website.

In the meantime here are some of the adorable behind the scenes photos from the video shoot:

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