When you make the decision to adopt a pet, hopefully you don’t make it lightly and do the very best you can to give your new companion a forever home. Adopting a dog and then turning around in a few years and dumping him off at the pound because you no longer want to spend the time it takes to take care of him is just plain cruel and only contributes to the problems of pet overpopulation and overcrowding in shelters.
When you make the decision to adopt an animal, you are committing to taking care of them for the rest of their life.
Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and you very well may find yourself in a situation where you absolutely cannot continue caring for your pet. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, simply giving up your dog to the pound is not a decision you should take lightly.
Many people give up their dogs because they feel that they don’t have the energy to deal with behavioral problems. Unless age or other physical or mental ailments are preventing you from taking care of them, you have some options. There are a lot of things you can do to change the unwanted behavior. Consult with a reputable trainer or consider going through obedience training with your dog. Training is just as much about training the owner as it is about training the dog so take some time to work together to achieve the results you are after.
Consider what is truly in the best interest of your dog. If you are considering rehoming your dog because you are in a situation that forces you to move into a small apartment, ask yourself if living in an apartment with you is worse than going to the shelter and risking not ever being adopted back out. The answer is likely to be no. You can always take your pup on long walks outside so he gets the exercise he needs.
Find a New Forever-Home
If circumstances absolutely won’t let you continue caring for your dog, try to adopt him out to your own contacts first. It’s likely that some of your family and friends have a connection with your dog already and you will know that he is going to a good home. Petfinder.com is another avenue you can take to find him a new home while you are talking to friends and family.
Don’t just give him up to the first person who wants to take him. Make sure he is going to a good home first. Screen potential adopters and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. You may even want to ask for references and visit their home to make sure you are giving your dog up to a good home. Most potential adopters will understand and if they don’t, there is probably something going on that wouldn’t make them the best match for your dog.
You may not find your dog the perfect forever-home right away but don’t get discouraged and give up! Finding a new home for your pet will take a considerable amount of time and effort but finding the best home for your dog is worth it.
Shelter as a Last Resort
You should only take your pet to a shelter as a last resort. Remember that the number of animals that need homes far outweighs the number of people looking to adopt so when you take your pet to a shelter you run the risk of him never being adopted out.
Most shelters are running at full capacity and often have to euthanize other animals to make room for the incoming ones. Before you choose a shelter do your homework. Does the shelter use euthanasia as a form of animal control or do they classify themselves as a “no-kill” shelter? How do they classify adoptable pets versus non-adoptable pets? Even if your pet seems perfectly adoptable to you, a shelter might deem them as non-adoptable because of something as simple as a cold or tooth decay. These are all things you should consider before signing over ownership of your pet.
If you do take your dog to the pet shelter, don’t lie about why you’re there. Saying that you are giving him up because he isn’t good with kids or cats when that isn’t true will only make the adoption process more difficult. The more information the shelter has, the more likely they will be able to adopt out your dog.
Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for havahartwireless.com, which specializes in dog doors. In his spare time he enjoys taking his dogs Sam and Bosco to the local dog park. His dogs often tire of fetch before he does.