What was wrong with the dog?
There can be quite a few reasons why dogs end up in a shelter. I divide them into 'understandable' reasons and 'questionable' reasons.
Some understandable reasons I've heard are:
- An elderly owner had to move to a nursing home or needs assisted care and has nobody else to take their dog.
- The owner dies and the rest of his family aren't in a position to keep or care for the dog.
- The owner has to go on military duty or make a sudden move to a place that does not accept pets.
- A family experiences severe financial hardship and can no longer adequately care for the dog.
Some questionable reasons I've heard are:
- Starting a family/having children.
- Claims of not having time for the dog or not being able to "give him the love he needs".
- Allergies. I've only heard one allergy-related rescue I believe where the husband developed breathing problems and his mild allergies became more severe. In this case, the family re-homed their dog and she did not end up at a shelter.
- Landlord threatening eviction due to excessive barking, jumping, marking.
- The dog had an aggressive episode and the owners are afraid.
Then there are a whole collection of completely ridiculous excuses. I won't go into them other than to say that I wish people would just be honest and accountable and say, "I wasn't ready for the responsibility of a dog." Or, "I didn't want to take on the commitment of finding an acceptable home myself."
What happens when a dog is surrendered to a rescue or shelter?