People have all kinds of reasons for surrendering their pets to their local animal shelter. We have heard them all, well most of them anyway and they are usually bad reasons that come down to the pet either taking too much of your time or costing you too much money. If you feel guilty about giving up your pet, you should.
Many animal shelters will try to talk you out of your decision, not because they think you can become a better pet owner, but because they are over crowded and may have to kill another pet to make room for your pet. I want you to feel guilty as hell, so that you will do the right thing. When pet owners come to the decision to give up their pet, they usually don’t back down from that decision. An animal shelter will attempt to talk you out of your decision and they think they made a breakthrough when you walk away with your pet. But, most of you will just drive to another shelter and try different answers when undergoing the next interrogation.
If you are going to give up your pet, then give your pet a fighting chance at getting adopted. Many pets do not make it to adoption because their previous owners were too negligent to provide basic veterinary care. Well in advance of surrendering your pet (usually 30 to 45 days) have your pet examined by your veterinarian and have the pet given all of the regular vaccinations. Explain to your veterinarian that the dog may be in a long term kennel environment. Giving your dog the vaccinations and giving the vaccines sufficient time to become effect in the dog will increase the dog’s chances of staying healthy in the kennel. The only thing that might diminish the dog’s chances is that if the dog is a pitbull breed or a history of aggression. Having your pet first sterilized (spayed or neutered) will earn good points with the animal shelter.
Pitbull are not necessarily a bad breed, it is just that the breed makes up half of the dogs in any animal shelter and many, if not most, apartment managers restrict the breed. Many home insurance policies exempt pitbulls as well. Due to the problems associated with the breed, an owner of a pitbull is a fool to not have the animal serialized. There are FAR TOO MANY pitbulls and they are difficult for animal shelters to find new homes.
Finally, to increase the chances of your pet getting adopted, offer to pay the adoption fees for the new owner. This little financial encouragement might be the driving factor of a person picking your dog over another. Offer to share puppy photos, so the new owner knows that the dog had a real family and was not just picked up as a stray.
If you decide that the time is right for another pet… make sure that it is the right thing to do and that you intend to keep the animal the rest of its life.