Apologies in advance if this post ruffles a few feathers, that isn’t the intention. What is intended is to bring to light the number of dogs and cats that sit in shelters waiting to be adopted. Working in rescue is eye opening and certainly not for the faint of heart. If you are considering adding a dog or cat to your family, check with your local humane society first, or local rescue group before you spend money on a dog or cat from a breeder.
A staggering 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year. 3.9 million are dogs, and 3.4 million are cats. Many of these dogs are purebred, left behind for a variety of reasons:
A move: Often a family will move and the animal(s) will be left behind. This is a horrible excuse for a pet owner but it does happen more than we realize. Before you leave a pet behind in Arizona, consider the fact that 35% percent of all shelter animals are euthanized. A family might be moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets for perhaps they have simply grown tired of the responsibility. Whatever the situation, do not abandon your dog or cat because he or she will not have the skills to survive on their own. The responsible option is to leave your dog or cat in a shelter if you are not able to take them with you. In a recent surrender, a military family living in a residential neighborhood, learned they would be relocating to a military base. Due to a dog breed restriction, their four- year-old, pit-mix would not be joining them. The family was heartbroken but did not want to turn their dog over to a shelter. They worked with a rescue organization and interviewed families until they found the right one for their dog. They now have the reassurance that their dog is going to be taken care of.
A new baby: When a family brings home a new baby, a dog or cat is often neglected because the owner suddenly has no time for their family companion. While babies require time and attention, this is no excuse to forget about your dog or cat. Dogs and cats, in fact, make wonderful companions for babies and children and every effort should be made to keep your furry friends from being surrendered. Case in point, a family with two small dachshund dogs brought their newborn daughter home from the hospital. Once their daughter was home they decided it was no longer possible to take care of a child, and two dogs. They searched for a new home for their dogs and eventually gave them away.
Behavior: Dogs are often abandoned because of their behavior, largely due to lack of training by their owner. Behaviors such as jumping, walking poorly on a leash, or marking in the house, are all behaviors that can be solved with a little bit of training from an expert. Dog training is not terribly expensive, around $100 for six weeks of training. If you are intent on keeping your puppy or dog, it is highly recommended that you enroll them in some form of training. Your dog will be happier, and safer, and your house will be peaceful and calm.
Age: Many senior dogs are surrendered because they have simply grown too old. Families don’t want the responsibility of taking care of a dog that is no longer fun and suddenly decide they want to start over with a puppy. A dog is a 15 year, plus commitment and dogs should not be considered disposable.
These are just a few excuses that owners give when surrendering an animal. When adopting a dog or cat, please consider each factor that goes into taking care of that animal. If you feel any hesitation when considering an animal, then a dog or cat might not be the right fit for you.
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