Tuesday, 17 May 2022
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Critter Corner: On giving up a pet

There are times where pet owners will consider rehoming pets. Before you make the decision to give up your pet, seek professional advice. A professional can advise how to increase the chance of a good resolution.

This may include a full veterinary check to rule out medical causes, environmental changes, training and management protocols, enrichment ideas and different services to help meet the pet’s needs. Education will help you make the best decision for you and the critter. Let’s briefly look at two situations and the decisions made with the help of a professional.

When Fred was a puppy his owners were told he would stay around 50 pounds and be lower energy. He was a known cross. One parent was a breed that can be moderately active (though many assume they are low energy) and over 130 pounds.

The other was a much smaller breed that can be quite active. At barely a year old he was 100 pounds and very active. Fred’s owners were overwhelmed and considering re-homing him. Their vet recommended calling a trainer first. With the help of a trainer, the owners realized though Fred was much larger and more active than they hoped that he was still a dog they could live with now that they knew what he needed. Some changes in environment, lessening his confusion, better utilization of the large yard made a lot of difference.

Maggie was owned by knowledgeable people who did everything they could to increase the chance of success. As Maggie matured, she began developing aggressive behaviors toward older dogs in the house and any dog while on walks. Professionals were consulted and work began.

Eventually, Maggie tolerated dogs on walks but would not tolerate dogs in the house. She was even attacking them. No amount of work or management alleviated the issues in the house. She had to be separated from them always. After many tears and long talks with different professionals, it was decided Maggie would be better off as an only dog.

The decision to re-home a pet can be gut-wrenching for owners. However, sometimes it truly is in the best interest of the animal. In her new home, without the stress of other resident dogs, Maggie flourished. Once an owner decides for whatever reason a pet cannot stay in the home, what next?

If you acquired your pet through a good breeder or rescue, there will be a return clause in the contract. Your first call should be to them. This site has some good information regarding re-homing dogs that can be applied to many species: https://petsforpatriots.org/rehomingyour-pet-responsibly-and-humanely.

If you are considering releasing your unwanted pet into the wild, don’t.

First, it is illegal. Second, it can be a death sentence. Third, it can negatively impact local ecosystems. Goldfish have caused significant damage to lakes and rivers. Released domestic rabbits have caused issues in many areas, such as Australia, Las Vegas and Calgary. Never turn an unwanted pet loose.

It is your responsibility to do everything possible to reduce the chance the pet will need to be given up. Immediately addressing behavioral concerns increases the chance for a positive outcome. Make decisions based on education and understanding what is safe, sane and humane for you and the pet.

In the end, Fred’s owners realized things were not as bad as they thought. Maggie’s owners realized she could not live with other dogs and decided to seek a better life for her.

Source: http://www.insidenova.com/lifestyles/critter-corner-on-giving-up-a-pet/article_6ec6d268-876e-11e8-b06e-bbce112eeebd.html

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