What are some reasons people surrender their dogs?
Pet ownership is a commitment. Before you adopt a dog, please be sure you know the breed, will understand how the animal will fit into your family and are willing to take on the responsibility, for the duration of the pet’s life, even—and especially–when she’s old and ill.
If you feel it’s necessary to surrender your pet, please be sure you have first exhausted all options, because sometimes it just takes a quick and easy fit to solve the problem.
For instance, moving is often listed as one of the top reasons for surrendering a pet; most real estate agents will be able to find “dog-friendly” rentals, coops or condos, however; in fact, most of them have databases—so if your agent can’t find one, it’s probably time to work with someone else!
Other reasons include:
• Cost. You knew the expenses when you signed on, but your circumstances may have changed, especially in this rocky economy. Look for low-cost (or even free) veterinary clinics; coupons and discounts for food and supplies; unadvertised specials; bartering and “mystery shopping.”
• Behavior problems: Talk to your vet or animal behaviorist; learn how to teach some basic obedience commands and, if biting is the problem, use a muzzle until the behavior is eliminated.
• Time/illness of the owner: Sometimes it’s impossible to walk a dog or play with a cat if you’re injured or ill. Hire a pet sitter, enlist the aid of some trusted, neighborhood kids, friends or family members. Even some recipients of “Meals on Wheels” can get an additional service to take care of pets.
• Can’t find homes for litter mates: Pet overpopulation is a problem, and if you don’t spay or neuter your pet, you’re just contributing to that problem.
Shelters are overcrowded and every puppy who enters one takes away a spot needed by a dog. Many animal organization and vet clinics will spay and neuter for minimal cost.