Monday, August 22, 2016

When Is It Acceptable to Get Rid of Your Dog?

When I saw the above quote I immediately thought of the many dogs who are given away when they no longer fit into their family's lifestyle after having been the focal point of their lives when they were young and impressionable.

I also thought about the confusion, anger, and frustration that is sure to grip the minds and hearts of dogs who are given up for adoption after forming a strong bond with their family members. I also think of the dog's who sit day by day hoping those familiar footsteps will walk up to their kennel and take them home but it never happens and then they are left with no choice but to wait for someone else to love them.

My heart is broken when I read about dogs who are left to fend for themselves in the streets or in the wild because many get sick, injured, or worse because they aren't accustomed to that lifestyle.

From what I've learned from my own pets, Daisy and Buster, they love me unconditionally no matter what my mood, financial situation, or schedule may be so I cannot comprehend how someone could betray that love by abandoning them.

In my opinion, pets are family members forever but if owners think it is necessary that they can no longer live with them there had better be a very good reason for it! What reason(s) can you think of for giving a furry family member away?


  1. What a deep blog. I feel the same as you. So sad to hear about those dogs who needs to live alone by themselves...

  2. Having rescued two dogs who clearly weren't wanted I guess I have a slightly different attitude towards surrendering dogs than others. Yes, I think people should be more responsible before making a commitment, but I wish people would surrender earlier rather than later when it's harder for the dog to be placed do to bad no training etc.

    Bailey's owners foolishly thought it would be cute for their baby to grow up with a puppy. What they got were two babies who needed lots of attention. I'm actually grateful that instead of subjecting him to abuse or neglect they got Jim to Sheltie Rescue. His foster Mom was amazing and he was ready for 13 wonderful years with us.

    We know less about Katy's story but she had little human or dog interaction based on her early days with us. She likely lived with cats based on some of her habits. I am grateful for every day she's been with us but often wish her previous owners hadn't waited so long to realize she needed a new home.

    Every time we've filled out a rescue application we've been asked when would you justify surrendering an animal. My answer has stayed consistent. If DH and I are not physically capable of caring for our dogs then we'd have to seek help in finding them homes. I would never want my animals to suffer because I believed I was the only one capable of loving them.

    Since breed rescue hasn't worked for us this time around I've been working with breeders to find a match for a non-puppy. What has impressed me is how much these people care about the dogs they are placing. Keeping a dog isn't always the right solution. Placing a dog in a home that is the right fit is far more important.

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  4. That is so utterly heartbreaking. I just don't know how people can do it.

  5. I was reading the line about I can't get the dog to do what I want and I think this is an issue more rescues need to tackle. For many dogs basic obedience classes are enough to make the home life great. We took Bailey to training and we trained Katy at home and it worked out well.

    However, when shelters have dogs that have been returned multiple times for behavior issues, those dogs need more help and repeatedly sending them out to new homes and hoping this time some one will either have training experience or feel too guilty to return the dog is what causes lots of failures and in the worst case scenarios causes dogs to be put down if they have a bad interaction.

    This is where shelters need to develop a network of trainers who can and will work with these dogs either before or as part of an adoption contract to help the dogs adjust to the new home. Too many people feel bad that the dog has been rejected and think they can take the poor fellow/gal on only to feel terrible when the disaster happens. Worse is when the shelter/rescue is negligent and doesn't tell you the dog has aggression issues when they clearly knew it and people are horrified to find they have a dog attacking the family and/or the other family pets. It's a recipe for disaster that is all too well known before that pet is ever shown to the people asking about the dog.


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