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Not all families have the space to keep a pet, and sometimes, even when you do think of keeping a family pet, you may hesitate because you fear that despite all your best intentions, you and your family may not prove to be the best pet owners.
George Ngoh has a neat idea to help you and your family learn more about what it means to care for a pet, and even to perhaps have a chance to “try out” different kinds of pets before you make the big decision to welcome one into your family.
“My idea is about volunteering at the SPCA. Does your kid want a pet so badly that he constantly bugs you to get one? One way for him to prove that he is ready for one is by getting him to volunteer at the SPCA. Do it as a family. It is a hands-on way to teach children the values of kindness, compassion, tolerance, and good citizenship. Everyone will get to use their talents, learn new skills and feel valued for their contributions while having a great time together. It strengthens family communication and bonds, allows for role modelling and builds shared memories. It also teaches responsibility and commitment because volunteers at the SPCA have to be able to commit for at least 4 consecutive months, on a weekly or fortnightly basis, after attending a compulsory orientation session.
Dads and kids will love this because every kid loves cute little puppies, cats and rabbits and at the SPCA they will get to walk the shelter dogs, care for the animals and express their love. Parents will love this because their kids learn commitment, responsibility and the real deal of having a pet. They get to clean cages, bath, feed animals as well as clean poop! It will show you if your kid is ready for a pet at home. Volunteering at the SPCA is giving back to the community and leaves everyone feeling a sense of pride. Our family has also grown in our respect for each other through the experience.”
Adapted from an idea contributed by George Ngoh and first published on 15 Apr 2013 on Dads for Life Toolbox