There are many
reasons why people abandon their dogs. Generally, it is not the
dog's fault and often the decision to take a dog to an animal
shelter is based not on emotion but on convenience. It is
representative of a society lacking strong values--everything is
disposable, including pets. People are encouraged to use excuses
for their own behavior--it always is someone else's fault. In this
case, it's the dog's fault!
Owning a dog
is a commitment to that animal for 10-15 years and should be a well
thought out family decision based on a thorough investigation of the
breed and breeder. Most of the purebred dogs in shelters are
housebroken, have some basic obedience, and are well-behaved,
affectionate pets. They have not abandoned their families--they are
How do dogs
(and cats) end up abandoned in animal shelters? Its simple--people
purchase puppies for all the wrong reasons:
because the puppy is adorable-all
puppies are adorable-actually, all baby animals are adorable but
with shorter life spans than humans, they quickly grow into gangly
As a present
for a child
who is too young to care for a dog-at an age when they have short
attention spans and will forget the dog exists as quickly as they
become bored with the latest toy.
To have the
same dog as a friend-perhaps
you could both take tennis or find something else in common.
enjoyed watching the antics of that breed in a movie or on
popularity of Akitas soared when Nicole Brown Simpson's Akita, Kato,
made headlines worldwide. It's inevitable that periods of increased
popularity will be followed by periods of excessive abandonment.
"Lassie" movies created a nightmare for Collies, and "101
Dalmatians" continues to devastate Dalmatians--nearly every shelter
has more than one waiting for adoption. People seeking a "movie
star," dog rarely think about the work involved in creating the
movie--professionals train the dogs, and each scene in the movie
takes days to film after hundreds of retakes.
instincts signal the need to nurture
so a puppy becomes part of the household UNTIL a human baby
arrives. Instantly, the dog is relegated to the yard or abandoned
to a shelter, having served its purpose. This is an all too common
occurrence and demonstrates an innate selfishness that will some day
intrude into the parent-child relationship.
Most if not
all shelters ask why you are giving up your dog. Statistically, the
reasons are just as shallow as those listed above:
or household breaking up ranks high on the list of reasons to
dump a dog. Every effort is made to share household belongings,
including furniture and children but the dog is abandoned. You’re
showing your children how easy it is to delegate their own
responsibilities to someone else when it takes a little effort.
Moving to an
apartment or out of town.
Again, this takes some thought and preplanning but at no time does
the dog receive even a moment's notice. You would be amazed at how
easy it is to act responsibly so the dog could move with the family,
or the family could spend time finding a new home for the dog.
Moving out of town does not automatically prevent the dog from being
included-dogs are allowed in every state in America.
on the list of cold-blooded, shallow excuses is the family or
individual who is going on vacation and does not want to pay a
kennel to care for the dog. Then there are the people who abandon
their dogs at a boarding kennel, assuming that the kennel owner will
be forced to take on the work of placement! That rarely happens.
reason that many pets are brought to a shelter is due to unwanted
behavior problems that could be prevented with early spay or
neuter and some basic obedience training. The dogs are doing what
you have allowed them to do and now the easy way out becomes a fatal
belonged to the child who graduated high school and went off to
college. These dogs are invariably older pets and have no
chance of ever leaving an animal shelter alive. Thanks for the
years of patiently helping with homework, getting the teen through
their inevitable hormone fluctuations, being there as a loyal friend
when parents were not able to cope-it's off to the shelter and off
to college. That will teach responsibility.
who claims no one is home because everyone is at work or in
school and the dog needs more attention is foolishly reinforcing
selfish, negative behavior by even using that as an excuse! You can
always make time for something you feel is important or special--a
car, a trip, a date-yet you cannot make time to spend with a living
creature who is in a situation you created! Let someone else do
it! Well not likely when they will be killed in the shelter before
you arrive back at your house after abandoning them to an animal
shelter. They immediately go into competition with over 5 million
other dogs in animal shelters waiting for a limited number of
homes. Surely, you could spare 30 minutes a day to walk your dog.
Giving a dog
to a senior citizen to fill their empty days is another mistake.
It's a good way to alleviate your guilt at not giving that family
member quality time but its almost a guarantee that the dog will be
prematurely doomed! The death or illness of an owner is perhaps
one of the most depressing reasons why dogs are sent to shelters.
Dogs have senses that humans cannot begin to understand--even their
sense of smell is one thousand times more intense than our own.
They know their owner is ill or has died and their need to have
reassurance to help them through a period of mourning is met with
abandonment to an animal shelter. Every individual involved in
rescue has seen dogs die of a broken heart--a fact that proves these
animals are as sensitive, and in some cases, more sensitive than we
are. A little estate planning can avoid these situations.
YOU are the reason dogs die in animal shelters.
Now look at their faces.