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Weekly question: Have you ever given up a dog?

I have never given up a pet, and it is something I can’t imagine doing. I would rather live in my car than give up my dog or cat due to financial trouble or apartment rules. But still, people “re-home” their pets every day. So many of us dog lovers – slightly different than dog owners – believe responsibility to a pet is for the animal’s whole life. We can’t imagine giving a dog away or dropping it off at the pound. We think reasons for giving up a pet like “new baby in house,” “moving,” “divorce situation,” “allergies” and “not enough time for pet” are inexcusable.

Then again, sometimes finding a pet a new home is the best thing you can do for that animal or for others in the family. If I had a child who developed bad allergies to my cat, maybe I would find my cat a new home rather than medicate my kid. If I had so many life changes that I no longer had time to train and exercise my dog, then finding him a new home might be the best choice.

Of course, there are better ways to go about re-homing an animal than posting “free to good home” ads on Craigslist or leaving it up to chance at a shelter. If I had to find a new owner for my mutt, I would give him to someone I knew, or I would interview his potential new owner to make absolutely sure of a good fit. I’d probably even ask to see that person’s home and pay for a background check. There’s no way I could just hand him over to the first person willing to cough up $50.

Have you ever had to find a new home for a dog?

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 27th of September 2008

Hi Ty. Yeah, lack of commitment is the biggest problem in my opinion. Not that commitment can prevent all problems, just most.

Ty Brown

Friday 26th of September 2008

Good post. This speaks a lot to the education that should be happening from a young age with regards to animals. As a dog trainer for a living I come across a ton of people who should have never got a dog in the first place. Perhaps they don't have the time, the space, or the level of commitment that one should have when bringing a living creature into their home. If people understood commitment and responsibility many would never get the dog in the first place and then no need to re-home.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 26th of September 2008

I know what you mean, Casto. I can't imagine giving up my pets, not even my boyfriend's annoying cat. They are our responsibility.

castocreations hzk

Friday 26th of September 2008

I cannot imagine giving up a pet for any reason other than death of my spouse or some other horrible life changing event. And even then I'd be loathe to let them go. My dogs are my family!!!

Then again, I did give my cats to my mother in law but I felt much less attachment to them as I do for my dogs. I love my cats, don't get me wrong. But my dogs are my babies. My companions. My friends. My partner in agility in the case of Trooper. :)


Thursday 25th of September 2008

When I got started in rescue I could never have understood someone giving up their pet. In the last 8 years, I have softened that opinion. I think that there are cases where the pet is not in a home that is the best fit for either the people or the pet. In that case I do understand re-homing a pet, but not ever by means of a "free to a good home" type ad.

That having been said, I still feel like most pets that are given up by their families are given up for stupid reasons.