Your choices can affect the most positive outcome for your dog, and perhaps your conscience when compelled to give up your canine family member and companion.
The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) conducted interviews of staff and pet owners and collected data at animal shelters over several years.
Their research includes the following top 10 reasons people surrender their dogs to animal shelters.
- Moving – Most surrenders involve people who are moving.
- Landlord – Renters face dog ownership rules and restrictions.
- Cost – Financial issues prevent adequate care of dogs.
- Time – The time commitment for their dog becomes an issue.
- Space – The living space is inadequate for proper dog care.
- Numbers – Owners decide they have too many dogs in the home.
- Illness – The dog has medical issues due to age or illness.
- Problems – People encounter unexpected personal problems.
- Biting – The dog is affected in ways that lead to biting.
- Littermates – Placing all littermates is usually difficult.
Many of these reasons cannot be anticipated which leaves dog owners emotionally stressed while weighing options in a difficult situation.
Publicly funded animal shelters serve a cost effective choice, yet owners should realize your dog could face less than a 50/50 chance of being adopted. According to the NCPPSP the high rate of euthanization attributed by animal shelters was due to lack of the following: space, adoptions, or rescue organization support.
The typical process for pets that enter an animal shelter include examination, evaluation, and then the decision to either euthanize your dog or place it as available for adoption. Temperament, age, health, and behavior can affect that decision.
Some shelters have a policy due to overcrowding that surrendered dogs are immediately euthanized without evaluation. Yes, perfectly healthy adoptable dogs may have zero chance at adoption because there’s no room in the overloaded system.
Our advice when surrendering a dog is first contacting a private non-profit animal rescue group like Lifeline Dog Rescue. We prequalify candidates based on our specialty and current resources. Although some may refuse dogs that could pose serious problems for a new owner, those accepted are provided a safe haven without high risk compared to public shelters.
Other options we DO NOT recommend include giving the dog away to an acquaintance, placing a “Free to Good Home” ad, or simply dumping the dog in a nice neighborhood and hoping for the best. Each can result in risk that your dog will not get the chance to enjoy the life they deserve.
If you are considering giving up your dog it’s likely because of one of those top 10 reasons for dog surrenders. Do the right thing. Give your dog to people who really care, and help them help your dog by providing detailed information about their history including likes and dislikes, health, and behavior.
That way you improve their chance of being matched to the right family who is most capable for a happy adoption. View both our rescue dog surrender form and the rescue dog adoption form to see how Lifeline Dog Rescue analyzes your dog and potential adoptive parents for a suitable match.