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Old 02-13-2020, 04:21 PM
Ashtura is offline
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How do I surrender a dog when no one will take him?


First of all, I didn't want to post this because I feel awful about it. Go easy on me please.

I'm moving and I cannot take my dog with me. I live in Delaware. I have called every place in a 100 mile radius, literally dozens of places, and no shelter will take my dog. It doesn't help that he's aggressive to strangers, and not house trained but I'm not going to lie to someone that asks.

I'm leaving in a couple weeks. I feel like I have no options anymore.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:30 PM
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Advertise: "Free to good" home on Facebook, the local newspaper, the local free advertising shopper. Ask all your friends, relatives, acquaintances.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:31 PM
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If you really can't take him with and nobody else will shoulder the responsibility for him, then do the right thing and have him put down. It's kinder than leaving him to the mercies of an overloaded shelter system wondering what he did wrong to cause you to abandon him. He's your responsibility--it was your responsibility to train him and make him a good canine citizen that would be snapped up readily so you're stuck with the only alternative you've left for him and for yourself. Call the vet.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:33 PM
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I suspect an angry dog that craps on the floor is a tall order to ask someone to take....
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:38 PM
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Have you tried calling shelters near your destination to see if you could drop him off after you move? (I didn't know how literally to take "I can't take him with me.")
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:41 PM
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What breed of dog? If he's purebred or mostly so, a breed-specific rescue might take him even if they're out of area.

Have you asked your vet if s/he knows of any rescue groups you didn't know about?

How big a dog and how old? A younger and smaller dog is easier to place than bigger and/or older one.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:52 PM
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Have you asked the shelters themselves if they have any suggestions, since they can't take him themselves? Asking a second time might get you a different person who's more helpful.

A local Facebook pet group might be helpful too. Obvs some people there will also criticise you for not keeping the dog, so be prepared to weather that.

Can you afford to offer to pay for vet bills or doggy training classes for a limited period?


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Advertise: "Free to good" home on Facebook, the local newspaper, the local free advertising shopper. Ask all your friends, relatives, acquaintances.
The dog might end up being used for dog fighting then if he's given away for free to a stranger.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:55 PM
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Sadly there are some circumstances in which you simply won't be able to surrender a particular dog because nobody (realistically close to you) will want it, and the local shelter won't or can't take it.

The option of advertising "for free" has been mentioned. This type of deal is risky and not very attractive to people because someone basically just drops a dog off to you and you have no medical history, no papers, no guarantees, no nothing... but it can work.

My wife saw such an ad and adopted (there was no actual paper work) such a dog. So people can unload dogs that way. Unfortunately our situation changed drastically and I was left needing to send that dog away because I couldn't take care of it and it was becoming excessively destructive. My wife had been the only person in a town of 85,000 that took the chance on that dog, so there was no one else around to be the next volunteer.

That dog had to be put down since the only shelter in a 5-hour radius of us had a long waiting list and this dog was one of the least desirable types for adoption. It's a hard choice and not one you'll look back on fondly, but sometimes it's all you can do.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:03 PM
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The dog might end up being used for dog fighting then if he's given away for free to a stranger.
The risk of that is very small in most places.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:29 PM
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Wow. I'm sorry you're going thru this.
You are between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
Call the vet.
My adopted Yorkie was surrendered to the Vet. She was born developmentally delayed. Significant intellectual deficit.
The home breeder brought her in to be euthanized. I just happened to be there that day.
I talked to the Vet about how he believed her life would be. He tried his best to talk me out of wanting her. I took her anyway.
I've had her nearly 10yrs. Lots of work. She's happy, does her potty outdoors. I have to basically hand feed her. She's dumb as a box of rocks but I love her anyway.
You take your dog in and maybe someone there will want him. To save him from being put down. I'd try it.
Good luck.

Please, please don't drive down a country lane and put him out.
I've saved a few that have been dropped off near me.
Most country folks shoot and bury.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-13-2020 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:53 PM
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Why are you moving, and why can't the dog come? Perhaps there are unexplored options there.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:03 PM
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When you say " no shelter will take my dog", I assume you're talking about no-kill shelters, not the ones that take strays in off the street. You are not going to find a no-kill shelter that will accept an aggressive dog that is not house-trained - the reason they can be "no-kill" is because they only accept animals that are likely to be adopted. A county or municipal shelter that must accept strays will accept your dog, but there's typically a time limit- animals that aren't adopted within a short time are euthanized. I'm sorry to say this, but you aren't going to find anyone to adopt your dog. He's going to be put down - and the only choice is whether you will take him to the vet or if he will spend a couple of frightened, anxious days in a shelter before they do it.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:22 PM
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Yeah, dumping the dog off at a kill shelter is the ultimate betrayal. They're going to be scared shitless for the time they're there and they know perfectly well what's to come because they can smell the death happening in the back room and every dog there will be channeling that fear and amping it up in every other dog. The method of execution for the dogs is likely to be horrific--google that if you've the stomach for it. If you know the dog is going to be put down then make it quick and painless, at the vet with you right there telling him it's okay, no fear, no pain, no betrayal. Yes, it will cost you but you owe it to the dog, that's part of the bargain you make when you take them on, to care for them until they die. Circumstances dictating that death comes sooner than it naturally would doesn't release us from that obligation.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
If you really can't take him with and nobody else will shoulder the responsibility for him, then do the right thing and have him put down. It's kinder than leaving him to the mercies of an overloaded shelter system wondering what he did wrong to cause you to abandon him. He's your responsibility--it was your responsibility to train him and make him a good canine citizen that would be snapped up readily so you're stuck with the only alternative you've left for him and for yourself. Call the vet.
Uh, no. If you can't give him away (to a responsible person or organization) and you can't take him, then the only alternative is not to move, or to move somewhere that accepts pets. It's your problem, not his. Abandoning or shooting a dog because he's suddenly inconvenient is not cool, and you mustn't do anything that you wouldn't do to your own kid, if you want a gauge.

(ETA or, if no place within a 100-mile radius will take him, try a 500-mile radius. You see what I mean.)

Last edited by DPRK; 02-13-2020 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:00 PM
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Thanks for the replies so far. Delaware is a "no-kill" state which is why maybe every place is full. You've given me some things to think about.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:29 PM
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Uh, no. If you can't give him away (to a responsible person or organization) and you can't take him, then the only alternative is not to move, or to move somewhere that accepts pets. It's your problem, not his. Abandoning or shooting a dog because he's suddenly inconvenient is not cool, and you mustn't do anything that you wouldn't do to your own kid, if you want a gauge.

(ETA or, if no place within a 100-mile radius will take him, try a 500-mile radius. You see what I mean.)
I don't usually do this - but you have no idea why Ashtura is moving. Maybe's he's getting evicted and the only alternatives are a sister's apartment where dogs aren't allowed, the homeless shelter where dogs also aren't allowed or the street - which isn't any better for the dog than just leaving him on the street while Ashtura goes to the sister's.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:05 PM
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Uh, no. If you can't give him away (to a responsible person or organization) and you can't take him, then the only alternative is not to move, or to move somewhere that accepts pets. It's your problem, not his. Abandoning or shooting a dog because he's suddenly inconvenient is not cool, and you mustn't do anything that you wouldn't do to your own kid, if you want a gauge.

(ETA or, if no place within a 100-mile radius will take him, try a 500-mile radius. You see what I mean.)
Who the FUCK said ONE GODDAMNED word about abandoning or fucking SHOOTING the dog? I said, if the dog is not going to be adopted out due to a lack of training and aggressiveness, and there truly is no option re moving AND keeping the dog then do the right fucking thing, call the vet and have the dog safely and humanely euthanized. AT the OP's expense. Because that's part of the responsibility of dog ownership. You euthanize the dog at the end of life when there's no hope, and if that end comes sooner because another part of the responsibility was not met, that of making the dog an adoptable candidate should the occasion arise, that does not abrogate the entire burden of responsibility.

And life happens, shit happens. People have to move into nursing homes where they don't have an option of taking the dog with them nor do they have the option of "moving somewhere that allows pets" because that's a reality of life, that not everyone has all these awesome options that allow them to have all their cake and eat it too. I will take the OP at their word that they can't move with the dog and the move is necessary such that rehoming the dog is required and that the dog is not a good candidate for rehoming due to poor socialization and a lack of training. That limits the options available to the OP and rather than insist OP pull some deus ex machina straight out of his or her ass I think it's pretty valid to suggest the alternative that fits all the criteria. Because that's what sensible people do, even when it's sad and regrettable.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:32 PM
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Who the FUCK said ONE GODDAMNED word about abandoning or fucking SHOOTING the dog? I said, if the dog is not going to be adopted out due to a lack of training and aggressiveness, and there truly is no option re moving AND keeping the dog then do the right fucking thing, call the vet and have the dog safely and humanely euthanized. AT the OP's expense. Because that's part of the responsibility of dog ownership. You euthanize the dog at the end of life when there's no hope, and if that end comes sooner because another part of the responsibility was not met, that of making the dog an adoptable candidate should the occasion arise, that does not abrogate the entire burden of responsibility.

And life happens, shit happens. People have to move into nursing homes where they don't have an option of taking the dog with them nor do they have the option of "moving somewhere that allows pets" because that's a reality of life, that not everyone has all these awesome options that allow them to have all their cake and eat it too. I will take the OP at their word that they can't move with the dog and the move is necessary such that rehoming the dog is required and that the dog is not a good candidate for rehoming due to poor socialization and a lack of training. That limits the options available to the OP and rather than insist OP pull some deus ex machina straight out of his or her ass I think it's pretty valid to suggest the alternative that fits all the criteria. Because that's what sensible people do, even when it's sad and regrettable.
A hundred times this.

Sorry you're in this position Ashtura, and whilst it will be tough, I suspect having your doggie put to sleep might be the kindest option.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:38 PM
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Who the FUCK said ONE GODDAMNED word about abandoning or fucking SHOOTING the dog?
It was posted above, as first-hand information, that some "country folks" do either or both, and I believe it. (Though that's a bit of a broad brush with which to tar country folk, as well as letting all the urban animal-haters off easily.) It was meant to be a classic example of abject irresponsibility, not a suggestion for what to do.


Quote:
I said, if the dog is not going to be adopted out due to a lack of training and aggressiveness, and there truly is no option re moving AND keeping the dog then do the right fucking thing, call the vet and have the dog safely and humanely euthanized. AT the OP's expense. Because that's part of the responsibility of dog ownership. You euthanize the dog at the end of life when there's no hope, and if that end comes sooner because another part of the responsibility was not met, that of making the dog an adoptable candidate should the occasion arise, that does not abrogate the entire burden of responsibility.

And life happens, shit happens. People have to move into nursing homes where they don't have an option of taking the dog with them nor do they have the option of "moving somewhere that allows pets" because that's a reality of life, that not everyone has all these awesome options that allow them to have all their cake and eat it too. I will take the OP at their word that they can't move with the dog and the move is necessary such that rehoming the dog is required and that the dog is not a good candidate for rehoming due to poor socialization and a lack of training. That limits the options available to the OP and rather than insist OP pull some deus ex machina straight out of his or her ass I think it's pretty valid to suggest the alternative that fits all the criteria. Because that's what sensible people do, even when it's sad and regrettable.
Force majeure exists in the world, but, firstly, the OP has not even approached that situation unless it is factually established that he or she can't move somewhere else, that no shelter or organisation in NY, DC, VA, NJ, PA, etc. is willing to help, nor friends, relatives, etc., and, secondly, I disagree that the poster can in any way absolve himself or herself of legal, moral, and ethical responsibility no matter how limited the options or sad or regrettable. As an additional factual point, my sample size is admittedly not huge but I am not personally acquainted with any veterinarian (and they're not all Dr Dolittle) who considers it professionally ethical to euthanize an animal for non-medical reasons. (They are also not in the business of re-homing abandoned animals, though they do encounter that sort of thing all the time and may have leads or contacts, so it is still worth asking all the vets within X or Y radius as well.)
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:02 PM
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There are many, many worse fates than a swift death in the presence of familiar hands and voice. Well loved though he may be, he is not going to be easy to rehome and so any standard shelter will accept him and promptly euthanize him to make room for adoptable dogs.

I don't know why he's aggressive to strangers, maybe he's protective of his family or maybe he is just a very anxious or unconfident dog. It hardly matters. Either way he is going to be a lot of work for someone, never mind the housebreaking issues, and shelters are not as rule keen to take in aggressive dogs.

I am truly sorry for the OP's dilemma - I can't imagine anything worse. But my vote is to give your dog the best day of his life, eating and doing all of his favorite things, and then let him go for good. If you can find a vet who will come to our house that will ease the stress, as will some tranquilizer for the dog, administered before the vet arrives.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:13 PM
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I'm sorry for your dilemma and sorry that some dopers could not resist the opportunity to lecture you. I know this is not how you wanted things to turn out. I do think that you might try some of the other suggestions here but if you really can't find a home for your pup, take saje's advice and then forgive yourself. And I hope things get better for you soon.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:13 PM
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Advertise: "Free to good" home on Facebook, the local newspaper, the local free advertising shopper. Ask all your friends, relatives, acquaintances.
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
It was posted above, as first-hand information, that some "country folks" do either or both, and I believe it. (Though that's a bit of a broad brush with which to tar country folk, as well as letting all the urban animal-haters off easily.) It was meant to be a classic example of abject irresponsibility, not a suggestion for what to do.




Force majeure exists in the world, but, firstly, the OP has not even approached that situation unless it is factually established that he or she can't move somewhere else, that no shelter or organisation in NY, DC, VA, NJ, PA, etc. is willing to help, nor friends, relatives, etc., and, secondly, I disagree that the poster can in any way absolve himself or herself of legal, moral, and ethical responsibility no matter how limited the options or sad or regrettable. As an additional factual point, my sample size is admittedly not huge but I am not personally acquainted with any veterinarian (and they're not all Dr Dolittle) who considers it professionally ethical to euthanize an animal for non-medical reasons. (They are also not in the business of re-homing abandoned animals, though they do encounter that sort of thing all the time and may have leads or contacts, so it is still worth asking all the vets within X or Y radius as well.)
True that it might be difficult to find a reputable veterinarian who will euthanise an otherwise healthy dog. They're another place to call, Ashtura. How aggressive is your dog, and how old? Has the dog ever actually bitten anyone or does it just jump up too much? House training probably won't be a big problem because that can be taught. If the dog has previously bitten someone then yeah, it won't get placed.

Is your dog neutered? How long do you have to try to work this out? If the dog isn't neutered, that could make a difference to its behaviour, and neutering is usually cheap or sometimes free. If you have a month or so's grace, you could get the dog neutered, at least.

But, DPRK, you're wrong to judge Ashtura this harshly when they're trying to find other ways of keeping the dog alive and safe. You don't know their circumstances, and there are many that can lead to a pet owner needing to give up their dog. Often when people give their pets up they don't really have a choice about giving the pet up at all but they might be able to choose when and where the pet goes to.

I appreciate that dogs are a lifetime responsibility, but part of that responsibility can be finding them a home that is suitable for them, if you're no longer able to provide a suitable home.

And unlike kids, the state isn't obliged to take care of dogs if you can't take care of them yourself. It's not the same situation.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:05 PM
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It was posted above, as first-hand information, that some "country folks" do either or both, and I believe it. (Though that's a bit of a broad brush with which to tar country folk, as well as letting all the urban animal-haters off easily.) It was meant to be a classic example of abject irresponsibility, not a suggestion for what to do.
Quote the post that appeared above the one of mine you quoted that advocated abandoning or shooting an unwanted dog. I'll wait. Beck's post was asking the OP NOT abandon in the country because an abandoned dog might be shot--which is reasonable as an abandoned dog in a country area will likely be a hazard to livestock.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 02-13-2020 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:20 PM
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Well you could have the dog put to sleep, or you could open the gate or door or whatever to your house the day you move.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:42 PM
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First to say we're very sentimental about dogs. We anthropomorphize them big time. My wife and I walked one of our 'grand dogs' today as we often do when our son can't come home early enough from work for a comfortable wee-wee time for the dog; were at our daughter's house at dawn, 3 hrs away, a couple of weeks ago to start searching the woods for another grand dog who was missing overnight (soon found safe at a nearby farm); our last dog died in our arms at the vet with us crying, etc.

But, without more background on OP's real human life and constraints, I think some people may be going overboard a bit, like saying you can't move if you took in a human aggressive non house-trained dog (how much effort was put into fixing this? but water under bridge now) and nobody else will take it. We haven't gotten into size and type (aka 'breed') but for bigger dogs of some kinds the odds aren't good even if the dog is human friendly (our late super dog was *extremely* human friendly but scheduled for the needle by the time we took her, just too scary looking to be chosen up to then in a shelter full of other 'pit bulls'). If worse comes to worst you have to be sure the dog is euthanized properly, but some shelters can be trusted to do that, and I'm not sure I buy the idea a dog knows any more what's happening in that case than at the vet. Ideally you'd do it at vet and be with the animal to the end, but again don't know OP's financial and other constraints.

Obviously it's unacceptable to abandon a dog, in the countryside or anywhere else, but OP didn't offer that as a plan nor anyone else that I read.

Last edited by Corry El; 02-13-2020 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:47 PM
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You local area likely has Facebook pet groups, join them, tell the tale.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:47 PM
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Well you could have the dog put to sleep, or you could open the gate or door or whatever to your house the day you move.
Good Lord! More horrible advice. Have you not been reading the other responses in this thread? Letting the dog run loose to bite someone or kill someone else's pet is the worst thing anyone could do. I hope you were not being serious. Life happens. You can't always take your dog with you when you move. I have to reluctantly agree with those who believe the only possible thing you can do is have the dog put to sleep if he can't be rehomed.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:04 PM
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I suspect an angry dog that craps on the floor is a tall order to ask someone to take....
I'll have you know I'll be 'experiencing' my 20th anniversary very soon. So it could happen.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:10 PM
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you also have time to house train the dog and get him less aggressive.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:32 PM
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I just went through the process of trying to re-home a friend's pet after she could no longer take care of him. He's a senior dog (about 11 or 12) who, reportedly, had behavioral issues. The APL almost took him but when we said "behavioral issues" they said no way. We tried many shelters, many foster groups, no go. Several foster groups only took dogs directly from shelters. All the others were full up.

One woman I talked to, who has been working with fosters and shelters for over 20 years, straight up told me we'd probably be best off putting him down, since he is older and has behavioral issues. She said that people have the idea that shelters are full of money, volunteers and empty cages but that couldn't be further from the truth. This isn't a cold woman or a dog hater - she just knows the reality of shelters and dog surrender.

There's a happy ending to the story, as the dog went to my aunt and he's doing REALLY well there. He doesn't even have the same behavioral issues as he showed at my friend's house. It was really a one-in-a-million chance that I stumbled on this match.

I have a lot of empathy for you Ashtura. Three of us trying to place my friend's dog was stressful and nearly fruitless. I can't imagine trying to place your own pup.

I say post your story on Craigslist or Facebook. If you're on FB and post, make it public. People will share. My post got a lot of traction and I actually had more people interested in the dog than just my aunt! You never know who is out there just looking for that perfect pet project.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:03 AM
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Since the OP is looking for advice, let's move this to IMHO.

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Old 02-14-2020, 12:33 AM
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Quote the post that appeared above the one of mine you quoted that advocated abandoning or shooting an unwanted dog. I'll wait. Beck's post was asking the OP NOT abandon in the country because an abandoned dog might be shot--which is reasonable as an abandoned dog in a country area will likely be a hazard to livestock.
Maybe there is a misunderstanding here, if so I must apologize. Obviously, no one (well, almost no one) mentioned abandoning a pet as anything but a supreme delinquency that gives me nightmares just thinking about it. Yet, those dogs she found came from somewhere (unless every single one just happened to wander off by itself), so obviously some gutless villain did it. Next, shooting an abandoned dog on sight is pretty cold, but I can imagine for example some farmer doing that without necessarily being depraved. Well, almost imagine it; a strange dog attacking livestock is one thing, but if it's a lost, friendly pet it would first occur to me that a scan for an identity microchip is in order.

That much was clear from her post, but if it also went without saying that no one would shoot their own dog (as opposed to some random dog ) then I am relieved to hear it, as it reinforces the esteem I have for rural folk, and in that case it was my wild imagination which introduced the notion into this conversation, for which I again apologise.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:49 AM
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Okay, I see the disconnect--we good.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
If you really can't take him with and nobody else will shoulder the responsibility for him, then do the right thing and have him put down. It's kinder than leaving him to the mercies of an overloaded shelter system wondering what he did wrong to cause you to abandon him. He's your responsibility--it was your responsibility to train him and make him a good canine citizen that would be snapped up readily so you're stuck with the only alternative you've left for him and for yourself. Call the vet.
This.
  #35  
Old 02-14-2020, 08:08 AM
SanVito is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pool View Post
Well you could have the dog put to sleep, or you could open the gate or door or whatever to your house the day you move.
Please tell me this was a joke.
  #36  
Old 02-14-2020, 09:09 AM
Ulfreida is offline
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Another vote for euthanize. I'm so sorry, but it really is the kindest thing.
  #37  
Old 02-14-2020, 09:54 AM
Dung Beetle's Avatar
Dung Beetle is offline
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I feel for you, Ashtura. I have a dog that would be difficult to rehome as well. I'm hoping you will get a miracle, or barring that, euthanize with love.
  #38  
Old 02-14-2020, 10:33 AM
JcWoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
I say post your story on Craigslist or Facebook. If you're on FB and post, make it public. People will share. My post got a lot of traction and I actually had more people interested in the dog than just my aunt! You never know who is out there just looking for that perfect pet project.
If the OP does this, I say to be very careful about who you hand the dog over to. Dog fighting rings frequently take unwanted pets off CL and FB and that's a fate much, much worse than euthanasia in your loving arms.
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