Surrendering Your Pet
When we adopt a pet we are making a life-long commitment but sometimes unexpected things happen and pets are often surrendered. There are various reasons why people give up their pets but no matter what the reason is, if it must be done then it should always be done very cautiously. The final step of your commitment is to make sure you transfer that responsibility to another responsible person who truly will live up to that commitment. Some people don't even attempt to place their pet with a loving family, they just opt for the convenience of dropping it off at the county animal shelter (also known as Animal Control). Typically they will keep the pet for a couple of days or maybe longer allowing some opportunity for it to be adopted before they put it on death row. Some pets are killed within minutes of their arrival because "they seem fearful."
I'm sure many pet owners think, "Well, he's so cute and he does do some tricks, surely he will be adopted quickly." The problem is there are a lot of cute animals in the shelters waiting to be adopted and the people hoping to adopt a pet will probably have no idea that your cute pet does tricks unless they decide to take it home with them.
If your pet is not adopted within a few days it could end up on death row IF they allow it to live that long. Some Animal Control employees somehow have gotten the authority to assess pets and determine if they are suitable pets or if they are so aggressive that it is a hopeless case and should be killed immediately. There are some Animal Control employees who at a glance make the determination that the pet is too sick to be adopted and the pet is killed instead of being given any opportunity to be adopted, rescued or even be examined by a vet. In some shelters they just kill them within minutes of their arrival even if they are supposed to hold them for a specific number of days.
It is not uncommon for pets to be euthanized even when there is an adoption application for that pet due to "tragic mistakes" such as clerical errors. There are also too many reports of animals being killed after rescue groups have sent notification that they intend to pick up the dog, put it in foster care and find a forever home for it. Some pets are given NO chance for adoption.
"The shelter's director faced criticism for euthanizing 971 animals in one month alone."
"a healthy cat was euthanized 19 minutes after it was brought into the shelter"
"a dalmatian that was euthanized 24 minutes after intake; a veterinary technician said it appeared to be sick with fleas"
"A boxer named Annie was put down within 20 minutes because she was fearful"
"Inspectors called the shelter’s conditions “deplorable” and noted that it did not have any walls to protect the animals from the weather, the dogs and cats weren’t being fed and cages weren't cleaned for an entire weekend."
"13 dogs at the Columbus County Animal Shelter were recently euthanized, after their owner passed away."
If you can't find a new family for your pet then your pet's best option is a "no kill shelter" or rescue group. Once they are placed in a "kill shelter" the chances that they will never leave there alive are often quite high for many reasons.
Another sad mistake that many people make is to place a "free to good home" advertisement on Craigslist. These dogs can easily end up being used as bait dogs to train fighters or they can end up in a testing facility's lab and used for experimentation.
If you must surrender you pet, PLEASE find a reliable rescue group or a no kill shelter but please do some research first.
When Mikey's website (the Pet Advocate's Town Hall) was being created there was no intention of recommending any animal shelters or rescue groups. A few months after Mikey passed away, in our search for a new baby I discovered Central Florida Weimaraner & Dog Rescue (dba Lifeline Dog Rescue.) After speaking with the "top dog" I decided to follow them on Facebook and found that Lifeline goes above and beyond any expectations one could have for any rescue group. This is one of the hardest working and most dedicated rescues I have ever found.
Within a day I saw numerous posts displaying pictures of dogs they had rescued and no, they were not all Weimaraners. One of them was Gracey, a beautiful little eleven week old pit bull. They had gone to pick up a Weimaraner and Lifeline jumped at the opportunity to save Gracey before her owner surrendered her to a kill shelter. They quickly loaded her up and took her in. Knowing that people looking for a pit bull probably wouldn't be looking for one at Weimaraner rescue they immediately contacted a trusted pit bull rescue with great hopes of finding the sweet girl a forever home.
They go even further by assisting dogs in other states, sharing their information, sending out urgent alerts when the dogs are in kill shelters and their time is running out as well as helping to make transportation arrangements. The folks at Lifeline Dog Rescue truly are some of the hardest working, most committed people I have ever encountered.
So, if you must surrender your pet please do some research and try to find a very reputable rescue organization like Lifeline Dog Rescue.