I Don't Want Him Anymore

He used to be soo cute.. I can't believe how big he has gotten... He keeps peeing in the house... He tears up my stuff when I'm gone... I just don't have time anymore for a dog... I'm moving and they don't allow pets... I can't afford the vet bills...

People have many reasons for giving up their pets.  Some have very good reasons while others just don't make sense to me but who am I to judge?  All I ask is that if you find yourself in the position of having to surrender a pet please consider all of your available options.

First and foremost is there any way to resolve the problems preventing you from keeping your pet?  There is help available whether it's training or food banks.  Find a trainer or animal behavior specialist to remedy any social or behavioral problems.

Second, if you really can't keep him find a friend, a neighbor, or even an acquaintance who would take him.  Maybe someone you know can provide a temporary solution until you can work things out.  Post on FaceBook, put up fliers at local vets, dog parks, even grocery stores. Sometimes somebody knows someone who would be happy to take your dog even if only for a short time. (Please be sure to check out anyone you don't know since some people will sell free pets to unsavory places like labs and puppy mill breeders).

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Last but not least are the no kill shelters and breed specific rescues.  They enlist foster families who will make every effort find a spot as opposed to letting a pet go to a shelter.  Do you know that statistically 50 percent of owner surrenders never leave the local shelter. Many of these dogs are forced to live in a small run or kennel with several other dogs or cats. No one has time to walk them  and their food is just passed to them through openings under the bars that confine them.  Some bark and cry incessantly because they are depressed or scared. Some dogs start showing aggressive tendencies and if the dog is black or a bully breed his or her chances to live reduce drastically.

My final plea goes out to those who have been tinkering with the idea of fostering. Do it! There are so many animals out there desperate for a second chance.  It stills chokes me up when I think about one of our past fosters, Gracie.  Homeward Bound sent out an urgent email for a foster home so they could pull her from the local shelter.  I couldn't say no when I learned she was to be euthanized within the hour.  Gracie stayed with us until she was adopted and is now living a grand life in Vermont.  This sweet girl, once abandoned facing her last minutes, is now a loved family member!

I know I am blessed with Kirby who is such a balanced dog.  He doesn't tear up anything, he is easily trained, and has easily adapted to my lifestyle.  But he isn't perfect.  I had the hardest time potty training him!  Thank God I have all tile or wood floors which made clean-up easier. I can't tell you how many times I screamed at that poor little dog, muttering "it's a damn good thing I love you!"  Eventually he was house trained but it took a lot of time and patience.  If I had given up then he never would have learned.

So don't give up on that animal who has given you unconditional love.  If you really don't want him anymore then find someone who does. He is trusting you with his life!