THE RSPCA Orange shelter is cautiously optimistic the message about giving pets as Christmas gifts is getting through.
As of Friday last week, there had been no puppies or kittens surrendered after the Christmas period, which coincides with a statewide 17 per cent decrease in abandoned pets for the period.
However, Orange RSPCA manager Marissa Clifford was concerned that once children went back to school in February, and people went back to work, problems may arise.
She said it was important to come up with a plan now and get animals into a routine.
“It’s when they are bored that they might start to develop some naughty behaviours,” she said.
“Give them plenty of toys to play with and kongs to put food into.”
Ms Clifford said a good idea to keep dogs entertained was to put food inside a plastic bottle so the dog had to work to get it out.
Unfortunately it has not all been smooth sailing for the Orange shelter.
The shelter is full and has been for some time, caring for 49 dogs and about 40 cats.
“Fortunately we can transfer them to other centres,” Ms Clifford said.
“We send a lot of dogs to Sydney and we take a lot of their poultry.”
However, things are looking up for 10 animalss that were adopted last week.