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10 Common But Terrible Reasons to Relinquish a Pet
Ask any domestic animal rescuer in the world. For far too many people, it seems, a pet is just a disposable object, deserving only as much love as we have the attention span to give.
Every day, I see advertisements for people "rehoming" their pets with various excuses. There's always an excuse, but it never seems to be a good one. Here's the top ten that I hear, in no particular order.
The Big Ten
1. I'm moving. Unless you are moving to the Sun, chances are your pets would rather go with you than be shuffled from home to home. There is pet-friendly housing everywhere, and what with the marvel of modern technology and all, it's possible to transport your pet everywhere. Even if a building says "no dogs" in its policy, it's possible they'd be willing to bend the rules if you pay a pet deposit or if the owners met your dog. There is almost always a way.
2. The landlord said no pets. Then why did you get one? Before adopting a pet, you need to always ensure that it is within your rental agreement (if you don't own). You should have never given this animal the hope that it would be loved forever if you knew that you couldn't keep it.
3. The animal doesn't get along with my other pets or my kids. Did you properly introduce them? Teach your children proper behavior around their new family member? Is there a safe escape spot for each pet in the household? Did you work with a trainer or behaviorist to iron out behavioral issues? If you did all of these things, your animals and kids would all get along fine. Millions of other families are doing it; why can't you work it out?
4. She's peeing all over the house and chewed the furniture. My husband says she's got to go! Did you even try to housebreak this animal? Or did you expect her to come into your home knowing exactly how you would like her to behave? Animals do not inherently understand human standards; they have to be taught. Almost no pet cannot be housetrained in one way or another. Become an educated pet owner before surrendering your pet for a silly reason!
5. We just don't have the time to love him as much as he deserves. Does he deserve to be euthanized in a shelter after no one has adopted him in 7 to 30 days (if not less)? Even if you get home late a few nights a week, your pet wants to be with you not to adjust to an entirely different household, and that's the best case scenario! There is always a way to get in a relief visit (neighborhood kids would drop in to give your dog or cat some loving for $5 a day, I bet) or two in during the long days when you can't get home.
6. I just had a baby. The cat and the kid together are too much work! A baby alone is "too much work," but that doesn't mean you give up! And if you have had this animal for years, how much of a nuisance is it to you now, really? Is it worth bearing the emotional trauma of giving up your dog when you can just "weather the storm" for a few months and come out of it a happy family? Toddlers and dogs can be pricelessly cute.
7. I'm getting divorced (or just broke up with my live-in significant other), and neither of us can take care of her anymore. How terrible that we allow human disputes to ruin the lives of our animals. There has got to be a way to keep the animal in this case, even if it means asking a family member to "foster" her for a few months until you get your life settled.
8. I got him to be a guard dog, and now he doesn't bark! First of all... what?! Second of all, did you even teach your dog that you want him to bark at strangers? Or just expect that he would? Some breeds of dog don't tend to bark a lot, and some bark like maniacs. Did you do research to figure out which breed would be best for your situation? And because your dog is not filling its role of "house alarm" you want to give it away?
9. We gave her to our kids as a present, and now they don't take care of him like they promised. Adopting a pet with the expectation that your only kids will take care of him is absurd. Do your kids make their bed every day? Offer to do the dishes? Clean the toilets and pack lunch for themselves in the morning? If you want to adopt a pet for the family, that's fine, but expect to do all the work yourself and leave the loving to your kids.
10. I have become allergic. Four words for you: Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique.
Here are a couple (I have actually seen these) that didn't make it to the top ten:
- The dog got too big.
- I need money for Christmas presents for my kids and want to recoup some of the costs for her vetting over the past year by selling her.
- The cat seems to hate men and hisses at some of my male friends.
- I'm moving back home, and my parents don't want her.
- The new puppy doesn't get along with the old cat, so we have to get rid of the cat.
- We need new furniture, and we're afraid he'll tear it up or pee on it.
- The puppy follows me all around the house, and I can't make him leave me alone.
- We wanted to breed her but found out she can't be bred.
- She knocks things over when she walks on the mantle, and we can't get her to stop.
- He needs too much exercise.
- Her food is too expensive.
- The kitten wakes me up at night.
- The puppy nipped at my eight-year-old who was trying to take his toy.
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I'll Leave You With This
We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.