4 minute read

Peace, Love, & Real Talk



Surrendering an animal is no decision to make lightly... your pets are living beings, not a regrettable wardrobe choice, proceed accordingly.

In rescue, you hear every excuse as to why someone is getting rid of their dog. For some people, getting rid of a pet is no big deal, but others whose pets are family, getting rid of a member you have had for years or even months is an impossible action. Two of the common reasons we get dogs returned or surrendered is divorce and children. We chose to tackle these two reasons in this issue.

When one gets married, they usually do so, thinking that this is “it.” Finally, you’ve found the one, and you’re going to spend a lifelong of happiness with one another…hooray! One day you wake up one day and realize that you’re miserable. Belongings are divided between the couple who got married. Then it comes down to one of the most precious items – the dog.

Over the past few months, I have personally come across so many different outcomes with this scenario. The first one being, returning the dog to the rescue where it was adopted. Returns like this have happened TWICE in the past few months with Eunoia Rescue. Each of the dogs were adopted from the rescue as puppies and returned as adult dogs. They have been returned with no manners, under socialized and begging for attention. It’s quite sad. Yes, I understand that “returning them to the rescue is better than being dumped” – but do you know what’s even better than turning them back into the rescue? Answer: Figuring it out your own self.

What gets me is that both animals were returned less than a year after they were initially adopted. Did the couple not know that they were experiencing problems before they adopted a puppy? Did they think a puppy would honestly solve their problems? It’s mind-boggling and upsetting. The other thing that boggles my mind is why one or the other in the couple would not or could take custody of the dog? Do you ever hear of couples divorcing returning their kids to the hospital where they were born?

Before you jump to the conclusion and yell that dogs are not kids, I don’t think that, but should they be treated as clothes that no longer fit, either?

Then, we were contacted by a shelter about an owner surrender, who was basically surrendered out of spite. The husband was rewarded the dog in the legal agreement – but the wife didn’t want her ex-husband to have the pup – so she just decided to surrender her to a kill shelter instead. After digging up old vet records for the dog, we found out that she had been suffering with an UTI infection for over two years. We were given the option of returning the dog to the “ex-husband,” but based on the fact that illnesses for the dog were utterly neglected – we decided to adopt her out to a whole new family.

I understand that divorce is rough, but it is no excuse to behave like an indecent human being. We will have an article about the legal side of divorce and dogs in a later issue as a feature, but as for an opinion on an excuse for surrendering your pet, it’s a pretty lame one.

The other common reason for returning a pet is children. A single person or young couple adopt a dog in the early stages of their relationship. It’s a common occurrence nowadays. Love grows, marriage happens, and soon the pitter-patter of little feet that aren’t dog paws. Well, what do we do if the dog doesn’t get adjusted instantly to another small creature sharing its space? Well commonly, that answer is to get rid of the pet. The safety of the children is paramount, but most times, families are uneducated and do not attempt to adjust their lifestyle. Not every animal is okay with another similarly sized animal in its face and pulling its ears, tail, or other body parts. The time a child is crawling and walking is usually the time that this occurs, and dogs are given up. There are plenty of trainers, books, and tv shows that could help this family work on this transition. I heard of a family that kept their dog separated from the toddler aged kids until the kids learned the rules, and the dog adjusted. There are plenty of options besides giving up on the dog you swore you would love the rest of its life. Unfortunately, vows to pets are as strong as vows in marriage; it seems with so many ending in failure.