What to do if you're not ready for a pet, but the kids think they are

Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 08:42:23-04

If ‘Santa’ has not already started getting requests for that new puppy this year…they’re coming.

Owner of the TreeHouse Toy Store  Gaetana Schueckler says it happens all the time.

“I would say almost every week we get a parent, or an aunt in saying ‘Gosh they really want to get a dog or they really want to get a cat, but we’re just not ready for that.’”

Her store offers a great solution rather than going to the Erie County SPCA, where they say often they seen people coming in looking for a “starter pet”.

“No living thing should be starter pets regardless of size,” said communications director Gina Browning.

“The fact of the matter is a child should have already demonstrated a certain level of responsibility  before any pet is brought in, whether it’s a hamster, or an Irish wolfhound.”

She says you need to teach your child a lot before they get a real live animal.

“Start with talking to kids about the responsibility of ownership. Start with a stuffed animal, make sure the child is already demonstrating a level of responsibility.”

Stuffed animals offer a great solution. 

There are so many options today even stuffed rescue dogs are on the shelves.

Schueckler says that with the closing of Toys R’ Us stores around the country, it’s really brought back a new crowd.

“The closing of Toys R Us really does create a sense of awareness again of toy stores.”

She says that since opening her doors in 1996, she’s now starting to see the second generation of children come back through her stores.

“If they were 8 when we opened in 1996, they’re 30 now, and bringing their kids.”

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