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I am the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. I live there with my puppy Bandit. I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  Please feel free to check out our dog walking and pet sitting services.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Help! I Can't Keep My Dog Anymore!


By: Laurie Brzostowski

One of the hardest things that I read online is usually when someone leaves their dog behind when they move.  It is heartbreaking to think that these furry family members are left behind to die just because people were not aware of the things they can do to find their pets a new home.

If you happen to be someone who, for some reason, can no longer keep your dog there are steps you can take to make sure your dog has a place to go.

PLEASE do not just drop them off at a shelter or leave them behind to die somewhere alone.

Here some things to consider first:
  • If you are considering surrendering your dog because of problem behavior:
    • Is the dog spayed or neutered? This simple procedure can have a dramatic impact on some behaviors, and there are low-cost spay/neuter operations available.
    • Consult with an animal behaviorist, dog trainer or obedience school. Many of these classes and consultations are very inexpensive and yet have amazing results.
    • Read this and try to correct your difficult dog behavior and how to place a dog if you have no other options.
    • Discuss the problem with your vet. Your vet may be able to suggest a training method or even a medication to eliminate the problem.
    • Keep in mind that if you don't want to deal with the problem, a stranger won't want to deal with it either -- and might even become abusive to the dog. You might also be liable for undesirable and/or undisclosed behavior. In the end, if you don't solve the problem, the dog might be considered unacceptable and ultimately euthanized.
  • If you are considering surrendering your dog for any other reason:
    • Place an ad in the paper. Be responsible enough to have any dog spayed/neutered before he/she leaves your care. Even puppies at 8 wks can be spayed/neutered.
    • Don't give a dog away for free. People collect free dogs and sell to research, dog fighting groups etc... Charging an adoption fee is like giving your dog an insurance policy.
    • Do a home visit and a vet reference check to anyone who is considering adopting your family member.
    • Post a flier with the dog's picture, height, weight, breed, personality traits, at your vet office / groomer, pet stores, grocery stores, coffee shops, work place etc.
    • Utilize the internet such as Facebook and Twitter. 
    • Network with family, co-workers and friend.
    • Check internet sites for purebred rescue groups and low cost spay and neuter.
    • Contact a dog rescue group for assistance and advise. There are breed specific rescues. Be aware that rescue groups get many calls every day of people wanting to surrender their dog who is like their "child" and must deal with good and bad reasons for surrendering of dogs...You must help yourself to help this dog. Rescues can only do so much. We are regular working people just like you, who do rescue because we love dogs. Rescue is a volunteer activity and rescue people commit countless hours and money helping homeless dogs. 
    • Contact local shelters/humane societies about their owner surrender policies. Be aware that dogs over the age of 4 are generally euthanized automatically. Also know that the American Bulldog is generally considered a "pit type" breed and may not be put up for adoption. 
    • Remember, if you must place your dog in another home, you are in a better position to do this than most rescue groups. Knowing the dog's temperament, you can screen potential families and identify the best match for your dog. And you can ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, without any time spent in strange and traumatic circumstances.
Whatever you choose to do, PLEASE do not just drop your dog off somewhere or leave them behind to die.

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