People put their pets up for adoption for any number of reasons. It's easy to assume these reasons are selfish, but sadly some are forced to re-home their four-legged friends because they've lost their jobs and homes, or because disability renders them unable to care for their animals. It's never an easy decision to surrender a pet, but sometimes it's the right thing to do.
A Tough Call
Having a dog is a great responsibility. Dogs rely on their owners for more than just playing fetch and affection. They need shelter, food and veterinary care. When owners are scrambling to provide their dogs with the basics and find themselves slipping on annual vaccinations, it's time for them to consider making a difficult choice. Re-homing your best friend may be the most difficult thing you have to do, but you will ultimately be fulfilling your promise to ensure his safety and well-being.
Time Is of the Essence
Regardless of the reason, those looking to put their dogs up for adoption must leave themselves plenty of time to take the necessary steps to ensure their pets end up in safe, loving homes. Re-homing a pet requires more than just a few days, a couple of weeks and even a month. Time is needed not only to find someone willing to take in a new dog, but also to check that person's background and references. Give yourself at least two months.
The first thing to do is check out local rescue organizations. Even if they are overwhelmed and cannot immediately take your pooch and put him in a foster home, they might be able to help spread the word about your situation. Of course you can advertise your dog online without any help, but rescues can save you time in dealing with respondents. They have experience weeding out puppy mill owners and others whose intentions for adoptable dogs may be less than stellar.
People who are trying to re-home their dog should also check out no-kill shelters, even if they aren't nearby. Shelters are usually overwhelmed, but may still be able to help. If a no-kill shelter is far away, there are transportation services available. Rescue organizations or sites like the Shelter Exchange, a nonprofit organization that provides a free Web service that helps connect dogs with adopters, should be able to suggest safe and reputable transportation companies or volunteers.
Vivian Gomez contributes to Retailing Today, the Daily Puppy, Paw Nation and other websites. She's covered the New York Comic Con for NonProductive since 2009 and writes about everything from responsible pet ownership to comic books to the manner in which smart phones are changing the way people shop. Gomez received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Pace University.