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Alternatives to Abandoning Your Dog

Updated on May 11, 2014

There Are Alternatives To Abandoning Your Dog

This is a picture of Tuffy after I got him cleaned up. Pretty cute! I found this abandoned dog (actually a little puppy) in a ditch on the side of the road and he was hiding in the storm drain.

It took me a couple days and some prayers to get him to come close enough to me because he was so scared. He was so little too. He was cold and shivering and very stinky and wet. Thank God he finally decided to come to me. Once I touched him and he knew I would not hurt him, he let me pick him up and get him to safety.

He was a mess. I had to throw away my truck seat covers from the wet stinky mud that he got on them. But boy, what a bath and some food will do do make a puppy look good!

I know there are many reasons that someone can not take care of their dog, either temporarily or permanently. There is no shame in that. It might be a devastating financial situation, a health emergency, a fire or flood, a death, etc. I just want to let you know that there are alternatives to abandoning your dog in a bad situation.

I do not fault anyone who has to consider their options. Sometimes things happen in life and maybe a situation has become so devastating that a dog may need to get a new home. I just want to say that there are options and maybe this can help you come up wth a good idea. I know the stress and emotions of a rough situation can make it hard to think up ideas. My hope is that this will help.

There are people that really do believe that a dog will make it just fine if they are put out and abandoned. They are not bad people, they just do not understand the realities of what happens if a dog is left behind. The reality is that these dogs are frequently hit by cars and then die from their injuries.

Dogs that are abandoned that have lived in a home have no way of knowing how to take care of themselves in the country. Many times they die from starvation. Dogs that are abandoned in the city can lead to dog packs that may attack animals and people.

There are many alternatives to dumping your dog off in the country or abandoning them in the city. I hope to highlight some information that may help you keep your dog, and some dog rescue organizations that will take care of your dog. They may even be able to help you find a place for your pet if you can no longer keep it.

If you need to find another home for a pet, remember all these rescues and shelters generally are nonprofit and continue running on public donations.

Before You Abandon Your Dog - Maybe Some Dog Training Will Help

Sometimes problems with your dog are causing you to need to give up your dog. Behavior issues are something that may have an easy fix.

Lots of times the dog needs more exercise. I have a page about Dog Fitness that might help give you some ideas.

There are lots of dog training books and guides that might help you with common dog problems and allow you to keep your dog. You can also get a dog trainer to help out if needed. Some basic structure goes a long way.

The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition)
The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition)

This is one of my favorite books for new dog owners.

These monks really know how to raise a pup!

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition)
How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition)

The monks give a training guide - maybe it will help turn things around to the positive for you.

Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training
Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training

Don't Shoot the Dog and Don't Abandon the Dog. There are better options!


Does Your Dog Need a New Home?

Please Do Not Abandon Your Dog, There Are Options.

There may be reasons beyond your control and you need to get your dog a new home. Focus on getting the word out that your dog needs a good home.


If you have some time to get the word out, your dog may get a great new home. These days, if you take some pictures and write up a little background story, you can get lots of help. Send out an e-mail with the information and ask people to forward it to others. Put up some posts on Facebook or other social media and let the word spread. There are lots of animal lovers that you do not even know that will spread the news for you. Many dogs have found good homes this way.


Maybe your situation is just temporary, and you could find a friend or family member to watch your dog until things improve. I have been on both ends of this situation (I took care of a friends dog before and have had to have a friend watch my dog too) and it is a great option. Circumstances can get better and knowing that your dog is being taken care of and you have a chance to get your dog back is a good thing.


If you have no other route or you are in a dire emergency, an option is to find a NO KILL animal sanctuary or a Foster/Rescue Group in your area. These places love animals and many will work to help find your dog a new home.

PLEASE make sure that the dog is going to a good home, and not to a bad situation. That is only the right thing to do.

Photo: Tuffy Growing Up!

Rescue of an Abandoned Dog - See The Amazing Difference in This Dog After Rescue, Bath and Medical Aid

More than 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year. Millions more are abandoned

Let's hear your dog story. Have you rescued a dog? How did you find your rescue?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      With the widespread use of Smartphone and Tablets combined with the proliferation of online dog training video courses,it has never been easier to train your dog from home. And it can be a whole lot of fun too!


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This puppy is shitting on everything and peeing every chance he gets. I'm tying him up to the door of the humane society this night.

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 

      5 years ago

      I have a rescue dog. He isvamazing in how he is so sensitive to the moods of people we meet.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      6 years ago from Houston

      Training is something seldom done and so often the way to truly rescue a dog.

    • sqchick profile image


      6 years ago

      @Snakesmum: I found my Squeaky at the Post Office. Her story is here: love-was-waiting

    • sqchick profile image


      6 years ago

      @suepogson: Tuffy is beautiful and danthemonkey has a big heart and a gentle soul.

    • sqchick profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, I have rescued a dog. You can read her story here: love-was-waiting

      It hearts my heart every time I see an abandoned pet. I can't bring them all home with me but I sure wish I could.

    • sqchick profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, I have rescued a dog. You can read her story here: love-was-waiting

      It hearts my heart every time I see an abandoned pet. I can't bring them all home with me but I sure wish I could.

    • suepogson profile image


      6 years ago

      An important topic - there is, as you say, NO reason to abandon - and yet so many animals are left like this. Tuffy is a real Cutie (and Tuffy) boy!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, and Tuffy looks like a great pet. Don't understand at all how people can abandon dogs and cats. Found my cat starving in the street thirteen years ago, and she is now a spoiled pet with fussy tastes!

    • elwood4n1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Bless you MisskeenReviewer. It's a sad thing to admit that we can't save them all, Every last one of them!!!

    • MissKeenReviewer profile image


      6 years ago

      I've been rescueing dogs and cats for over adecade now. Cats here are roaming the streets while dogs are often lost or meant to get lost by irresponsible owners. Currently I have 3 rescued dogs and about a dozen cats. Tough job but someone else got to do it. This lens is great and hopefully those people who are considering abondonding their pets should reconsider- I pray that one day I will never have to see a stray kitten or abondoned dog on the street.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      There is no reason anyone should abandon any animal without care. There are many options. Thank you for publishing a great lens on the subject.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      All my dogs have been rescues. Thanks for getting the word out about alternatives. Blessed.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      6 years ago from Covington, LA

      We have rescued many dogs & cats through the years. Thanks for making people aware of the other options to abandonment. Blessed

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      6 years ago

      Actually, my daughter had a dog that she listed with a rescue organization. We ended up taking care of the dog for a month until the rescue had a place for him. Two days after the organization came to get him, I called them and asked if I could have him back. Luckily, the home they had found for him turned out to be not a good match, and I got him back. I made a donation to the rescue to cover the costs they encountered. My husband was so mad at me for getting him back, but he ended up loving the dog as much as I did.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is truly a great lens! Thank you for sharing something from the heart. Your love for animals is definitely evident. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I have never found a dog to rescue but I helped rescue a chicken hawk baby. She liked to eat dog food and dance on my head. Amazing. In the end she flew off with no help. We were proud of her.

    • Frischy profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I fostered a senior dog for the last months of his life. He was blind, deaf and senile. He would bark all night long without the proper medication. Someone threw him out of a car on a busy city street, just as several people involved in a no-kill animal rescue were coming out of a building. One of them saw it happen and ran out into traffic to get this poor blind dog who weighed about 10 lbs. When I got him he was skinny and sick, smelled terrible, all of his teeth were rotten, and he shook constantly. It took a while to figure him out; he had lots of issues. But, we got him stable, and then he got sick and started going downhill. He began walking in circles and seemed miserable. It was a sad day when we had to say goodbye to our sweet Tito. I buried him in the backyard where he loved to take naps in the sunshine. He gave us a lot of love in the short time he was with us, and we loved him so much. We all miss him. He will always have a very special place in our hearts.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      my apartment "No pets allow". So I can't have a dog even....

    • SmokeybonesJr profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic blog! and thank you. After spending more than 30 years in the military I've seen just about every conceivable thing man can do to his fellow man. Animals don't do this! This is a great Lens and you are a good person. Thank You! Smokeybones

    • elwood4n1 profile image


      6 years ago

      It seems to me that there are many good folks who have a passion for life .I want to state for all, that the beings we refer to as pets, are from ancient times bred to protect and depend upon us, ( with all their living fiber ). And these pets are now an adopted child of humanity! Well as you can see I can digress. I have three rescued friends, and one old lad that helps organize that mini pack ( Garth, bit ol'th shepperd.) I wish you all well.

    • GO Cybernaut profile image

      Gayle B Olson 

      6 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

      For the first six months of his life, our Rhodesian Ridge back Cedric was tied to a tree and beaten with chains and abused. He was in training to guard a marijuana grow house. The plan backfired and Cedric became a terrified pup who wanted nothing to do with anybody. Our family fostered him and gradually gained his trust. The animal psychologist told us he would likely never get over the fear but probably would not be a danger of attacking or biting. We live in a city with a no-kill policy and we knew that nobody would choose Cedric for adoption. We decided to make his forever home with us. Eleven years later Cedric is getting on in age, health problems likely from his terrible treatment as a pup. We know his remaining days my not be many. His fear of people isn't quite as extreme and once he gets to know someone and gain the trust he is quite affectionate. Yet the sound of chains, heavy books or the smell of cooking oil is more than he can bear. I cannot imagine how terrible his time as a puppy could have been and I am grateful he found his way into our lives.

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 

      6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      We have seven rescued cats and five rescued dogs between me and my adult children. The video of Fiona made me really appreciate how we have helped out our pets ~ they could have ended up like that if we hadn't dedicated ourselves to saving them and caring for them. But at the same time, my heart broke for all the pets that do end up like Fiona before she was rescued. What a wake up story! Who could possibly abandon a pet? If they can at least take it to a shelter, make a small donation, no matter how small, so they won't feel guilty for leaving it, and then realize they have just saved their pet's life by letting someone else adopt it and give it another chance, and a chance for the pet to bring joy to another family! There are happy endings when folks at least turn their pets over to a shelter; horrible endings when they just let it go in the wild to find its way. God bless you for your message! I hope many will watch the video. Congratulations on the well deserved Purple Star, and SquidAngel Blessed! B : )

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Actually there are a lot more cats than dogs killed at shelters (because they multiply faster than dogs) so consider adopting a cat or BOTH.

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image


      6 years ago

      Very Nice.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I have adopted a homeless dog... and rescued abandoned cats. I applaud your efforts to help pets in need.

    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 

      6 years ago

      I like your idea about sending the message out using social media such as Facebook. Great idea!

      I have an adopted Chihuahua Terrier mix. She is almost 3 years old now. I got her when she was 6 months.

      Good work!

    • elwood4n1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I am so glad to have come across your lens, and can share in the joy that I have when rescuing maltreated pets ( Dogs mostly ). Nevertheless bless you and your great work!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the information about Alternatives To Abandoning Your Dog, because this is a much needed topic to be discussed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very well put together - all but one or two of the dogs my family have gotten in my lifetime have been rescues. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh my I almost cried when I read about Tuffy in the happy that you found him. So horrid what some will do with animals. I don't have a rescue right dog is a yorkie that I write a lot about who was born next door. She is an elder dog now, 14 years, so when her time comes, any dog I would get would be rescued. I have taken in cats in the past. The cat I had for the longest time was from an ad someone put in the paper...a kitten that had been hanging around a gas station. I picked her up at the gas station, and she went through many big changes in my life, from my first apartment, to marriage, two moves, and two children. She finally was ready to move on at the age of 16. That was a little under 20 years ago, but I still use her name plate from her collar for something in the kitchen. Congrats on your purple star:-) *blessed*

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I live out in the country where we constantly hear of people finding an abandoned dog at their door or in their barn, often times freezing to death. The question arises what are they supposed to do about the dog? If they don't want it, should they leave the poor neglected dog at another's person's house, or just ignore it and hope it'll just go away, or perhaps just "get rid" of it? They're not responsible for it...

      Please, if you have a dog that you want to get rid of, realize that one of the most inhumane things to do is just drop it off someplace. You don't know who'll pick it up, whether it'll get run over by a vehicle, or if an animal will eat for it's meal. (sorry if I'm being blunt) It might be hard, but please consider taking it to an animal shelter, where it'll at least have a chance at being picked up by another person who actually wants a dog!

      Don't make someone else responsible for a dog they don't want!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent lens dedicated to man's best friend!

      Thanks for sharing & thumbs up for your touching work done!


    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on your Purple Star! I recently rescued two abandoned dogs that arrived on my rural property. I also started volunteering at my regional animal shelter. Everyone should spend an hour or two at a shelter. It really drives home what happens when animals are not properly rehomed or spayed/neutered. I deeply appreciate your message that abandonment is not a true option. The shelter where I serve is a no kill refuge for animals and we are always at capacity. Prevention is the critical key to helping be a part of the solutions rather than the problems related to unwanted animals.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      6 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      My Dad took in an unwanted labrador. He became part of the family (tho I was a little shocked when I returned from a holiday and discovered a huge dog pounding on the frint door as I arrived. The guy who had helped carry my case put it down and retreated very quickly). I cannot accept people just dumping unwanted pets. Even when I discovered I was allergic to cats, I kept my boy until the day he died. I love that there are people out there trying to re-educate on this.

    • mrdata profile image


      6 years ago

      Congrats for your lens! You deserve the purple star. I wish to rescue one day a dog. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Lawyer profile image

      Jennifer Lawyer 

      6 years ago

      We have 2 dogs that we have adopted from a local shelter. Although I sometimes get frustrated with doggie behaviors (more often the fault of the children or hubby and NOT the dog!), they are beloved members of our family! Thank you so much for creating this lens!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      My daughter also rescued a dog from under her parked camper at her house. I'm sorry, there is no excuse for walking away from a dog or cat who has been a part of your family. The least you can do is find them a home. I've never heard of a shelter requiring a donation to accept an animal...sorry, that's a ridiculous excuse!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      One of my coworkers lives on a farm and they have discovered dogs abandoned on the side of the road multiple times.. so sad. :(

    • lkamom profile image

      Heather McGlaughlin 

      6 years ago from Marryland

      Great lens, I can't image people would abandon their dog (sad fact). We had a dog that just didn't seem to be a good fit for our family at the time. He was a large dog and my small kids were afraid of him. I got in touch with a person in our community who found him a great home. We've had our small dog now for 5 years and he's the perfect fit for us. :)

    • FatLossDiva profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't know how anyone could dump a dog, or any other animal. It's a despicable act. Thanks for caling attention to the issue.

    • KellydeBorda profile image


      6 years ago

      Anyone that reads Jenny's post below and finds themselves in a similar situation - please don't abandon your dog in a park! There are many animal rescues - keep looking. Just because the shelter won't take your dog doesn't mean there is no hope. There is a huge list of resources above - at the bare minimum you should exhaust all of them before giving up hope. I would no less leave my dog out in the street to fend for itself than I would my child.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a dog I need to rehome. We had to leave our house and move to an apartment and it is just not working out. I would love to take my dog to the shelter but when I attempted to do so they wanted a $250 donation before they would take the dog. The reason we had to move to an apartment in the first place and give up the dog is because we are poor! Im sorry but I can not afford $250 when we are living paycheck to paycheck running out of money for food the last week of every month. I have tried to re-home the dog through an add but had little response. I have no choice but to take the dog to the dog park and leave him there figuring someone will find him and take him. I tried to do the right thing but I cannot afford to spend another cent on this dog and he has to go before he causes more stress in our family.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! My mom just found out that a little dog was left in an abandoned apartment and almost died there but they found him and nursed him back to health. Grrr!

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 

      6 years ago

      Love this lens. I'm so glad Scrappy found a forever home with you. It's sad to think of all these animals being abandoned. I wish people weren't so careless. Great lens.

    • Afteretc profile image


      7 years ago

      Dog abandonment is a huge problem in Puerto Rico. I wrote a lens about it - the stray/street dogs are called "Satos" there. So sad.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for this lens, we can't have enough of them. I appreciate the work that people do to save these abandoned dogs. It's our responsibility, and we should take that seriously. I saw in a video called 'Earthlings' how in some shelters they just put a lot of dogs in a large box and gas them; absolutely horrid.

    • BlueStarling profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens on an important subject!

    • WealthBuilder2010 profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful Lens, in style and spirit! Thanks for helping to spread the word about the plight of stray & abandoned pets. It really is a problem that we all are responsible for!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for making this great resource for people needing to re-home their pets! Nice lens!

    • Karendelac profile image


      11 years ago

      I am passionate about animals and your lens is a solid 5 stars. I have just completed a Bird Rescue Lens ~~ here it is ~~

    • TomAntion1 profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens! Lots of good info. Please visit my Bichon Frise rescue site. Proceeds from products sold will be donated to rescue groups. Thanks!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very cool lens. 5 stars! Congratulations!

      You are invited to visit us. Thanks,


    • profile image


      12 years ago

      This is a great lens!! So much good information here! We rescued a Lab from a shelter so our other Lab would have a pal. As I walked by her cage she reached her paw out and touched me. She came home with me that very day!! She so inspired me I later signed up to be a volunteer there.


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