Owner Surrenders

Melody: Owner Surrender
When a pet owner willingly turns over their pet to an animal shelter or animal rescue group, we call that an Owner Surrender. 

Pet owners make this decision for many different reasons: pet has behavioral issues, pets aren't getting along, puppy grew up, new baby on the way, family is moving, not enough time, allergies, and on and on. Nine times out of ten, these issues can be resolved with just a little time and effort. 

But sadly, these owners --who are so quick to dump their family pet at the animal shelter-- are rarely willing to do anything to fix the problem... nor are they willing to admit that they are actually part of the problem. And far too often, the "problem" is nothing more than an excuse.

Our society makes it very easy to "get rid" of your pet. Honestly, it's even considered acceptable by many, which is highly disturbing.  But I often wonder if this happens because people don't understand or accept the heartbreaking reality for the surrendered pet... and what it does to them.

If you've ever given up on a family pet, I think you should know what happened after you walked away. Or if you've ever considered it... then you should know the truth before you do. It's not about "how hard" it is for you. This is about them. I challenge you to care enough about them to hear their side of the story. It's your choice, of course... but it's a life-or-death decision.  

Penny: Owner Surrender
So, first of all, dogs don't want to be crazy. Pets develop issues when their needs aren't met, when proper training isn't implemented, and when we unknowingly reinforce their negative behaviors. Most of these issues... are pretty much your fault. Are you really willing to dump them for something that's your fault?? 

Other times, an abusive past may be to blame for your rescue dog's issues. But even still, you can't completely absolve yourself of any guilt, because it's your job to help them work through these problems. An unwillingness to do so... well, that's your fault, too.

Okay... so sometimes, behavior is the problem, but there are many other reasons for Owner Surrenders. For example, maybe there's a new baby on the way. This is a common excuse... that makes about zero sense. Why in the world does having a new baby mean that you must dump your old baby?? When you have a second child, do you dump the first? Do you really only have enough love in your heart for one other living being at a time? Honestly... all your pet wants is love...is that really too much to ask??

There are so many Owner Surrender excuses; it'd take hours to list them all. And again, most could be resolved with just a little effort... or even a lick of common sense. But for now, I'd like to focus on the dogs... on what "Owner Surrender" means to them...

I've rescued a lot of dogs. The neglected, the abused, the sick, the maimed, the elderly. In short, the walking dead. But some of the saddest cases I've ever witnessed... are the Owner Surrenders. 

When a dog is taken from a horrific situation and brought into a loving environment like Lucky Dog Rescue, it's honestly like Heaven for them. Suddenly, they have warmth and food and joy. Playtime and walks and fun. For the first time... they know love, and they love it.

Rufus: Owner Surrender
But with Owner Surrenders, it's different... much different. When a dog was once in a loving home, and lived as a treasured family pet, their devastation upon abandonment is nothing short of heartbreaking. They don't understand. They can't understand. And so... they wait. I call them "the waiting." 

These dogs are waiting... for their families to return. They're waiting... to go home. They're waiting... to go back to the forever they were promised.

With every day, every hour, and every minute, they're waiting for their moms and dads to come back for them. With every car, every visitor, and every walk outdoors, they're certain they're going home. With every breath, every blink, and every sigh... they're wondering where their families are. What's taking them so long?

In their eyes, there's the undying wish for home. In their smiles, there's the unwavering hope that their wish will soon come true. And in their tiny bedtime whimpers, there's the slow realization... that they may never go home again

In the early stages, most surrendered dogs never doubt for a second that their families will come back for them. So... they sit, they watch, and they wait. But over time... that wish becomes nothing more than a dream... and that dream becomes their worst nightmare.  

It's beyond heartbreaking to watch them wait, day after day, for a family that won't be back for them. Especially when I can't help them understand... and even if I could... I couldn't bear to tell them. 

Mimi: Owner Surrender
Obviously, some dogs don't know that they've been abandoned. But with Owner Surrenders... there's another heartbreaking group. The dogs that know they're being dumped. They just know. These dogs are often dragged into the animal shelter by their families... as they desperately try to resist the inevitable. Their eyes plead with their moms and dads, begging for a second chance. They'll use every ounce of energy to try and leave with a family that doesn't even want them anymore. And as that family walks away... these dogs will cry out for them: "Wait! You forgot to take me with you!!! Please don't leave me here! Please!!!"

Even though these dogs realize what's happened-- their devotion never wavers. They'll still wait, every single day, for the very family that dumped them. When anyone walks through the animal shelter, these dogs will eagerly press their faces against the cage... tails wagging... to see if their family has come back for them. 

Then, the hope in their eyes is replaced with despair, as they realize that it isn't their family after all. They'll slowly walk back to the corner... the corner they now call "home" ... head hung... heart broken. And they'll repeat that same process... every single day.

In no-kill animal shelters, these dogs have all the time in the world... to wait for a family that will never return for them. But in kill shelters, Owner Surrenders are often killed immediately. Why so? Well, stray pets must be held for a certain number of days, in order to give their families time to reclaim them. But with Owner Surrenders, there's no mandatory hold time, which means they can be killed immediately. And trust me, if space is limited, Owner Surrenders will be the first to go.

Other pets may be given days or weeks... which will be spent waiting for their families. And when their time is up, they'll cry out for those families... as they are killed.  

Sure, you can sit back and blame the kill animal shelters all day long, but they didn't dump your pet. You did. Basically, you handed them a very heartbroken dog, and said, "Here, you deal with this." Then, you turned and walked away, convinced that your dog would find a good home. All the while, millions upon millions of pets are being killed in shelters every year. You're certain that your pet will be the exception? Are you willing to bet his life on it??

Diamond: Owner Surrender
But that's part of the problem here... people are allowed to ignore the truth. Every day, pet owners are carelessly making major life-or-death decisions... choices that have the potential to ruin their pet's life... or result in their death. And sadly, there were so many other options... 

Maybe you "feel bad" about dumping your pet. Maybe you even said, "I'm sorry" before you left them. But your dog doesn't need to hear "I'm sorry"... they just need "I love you." Because even after you dump them... they still love you. Every minute, they'll think of you. Every day, they'll wonder if you ever think of them, too. Every night, they'll dream of you... they'll wish for you. And believe me... they'll wait for you... until their very last breath

They'd never believe, for even a second... that you actually left them to die. But even if they knew... they'd still love you anyway. I bet there isn't a single person in your life that loves you that much. So if you've got that kind of love in your life, fight for it. 


  1. I shared. This is a wonderful article. Everyone needs to read it! It should be on the msn front page!! So tired of people dumping their dogs and all the lame excuses!

  2. My laptop is going to be ruined if I keep crying on it when I read your blog. Hopefully this spring we'll be able to take a dog in an unbreak it's heart!!

  3. So heartbreaking. And so many won't want to read this. The ones who NEED to read it probably won't. But I'll spread it around with the hope that they do. Everyone-if you can donate to Lucky Dog, help Ashley save some more of these loyal souls. ~Alicia, L.A.

  4. Thanks y'all! I really, really appreciate you! You'd be so surprised at what the power of sharing can do. Many non-rescue people read my blog & become educated simply because you shared it! Thank you so much for helping me save lives :)

  5. Such a heartbreaking post, Ashley. I can not EVER imagine a circumstance that would make me give up my boys and even if there came a time that it had to be done to to things beyond my control, I would fight it tooth and nail. I honestly have bigger respect for the homeless with their pets, than for people who dump their pets.

    If you HAVE TO, give up your pet, why not contact a rescue group, foster your own dog while you wait for the rescue to help find them a good home? There is just never any excuse for dropping your best friend off at a kill shelter and wishing them the best of luck. It's awful and heart-breaking.

    1. I am looking for a rescue group, that would work with me to find a good home for my pet. Do you recommend any? Over Stress Owner


  7. Ashley....great post, as always, BUT....as much as I hate the lame excuses that some people give for "surrendering" their pets, sometimes there are just no other options. What about people who have had to make survival decisions and there are just no rescues who will help? I can even personalize this, although I have not surrendered a pet to a shelter....out of work for almost 3 years, doing the best I can to survive, myself. I have more dogs than I can care for, and within that pack, aggression issues, but I cant even get a rescue to respond to phone calls or emails. I cant get behavior resource information from rescue workers. But Im one of the stubborn ones. It will be a cold day in hell before I give up one of my dogs to a shelter. I have gone hungry, myself, many times, before I have allowed one of mine to miss a meal. But thats me. With rescues busting at the seams, I can and will wait for the right situation for the ones I need to find homes for, but it looks like its going to be a long time before that happens, because no one seems to be interested in helping me. Im different than most people....just because I have fallen on hard times, it doesnt mean that I have to make my animals suffer. But the average person doesnt have the resources that "we" do and perhaps doesnt see another option besides an animal shelter. I cant sit in judgement of anothers actions until I have walked in their shoes. Perhaps, neither should the rest of the animal loving community. Its not black and white any more....life has become more complicated because of our failing economy. As much as I feel deep sorrow for the surrendered pets, I also feel anguish for the people who felt that there was no other option than to surrender their pet.

  8. Absolutely love this. I'm 21, my due date is this month, and I have a baby. We have our own pets and are thinking about taking in one more foster (short term) before the baby gets here.. If so, he will be our sixth. I hate all the excuses people give when I do all I can to help at a young age. I dare someone to outdo me.. Prove there are other animal lovers out there that can help make a difference in the lives of these poor unwanted babies

  9. Ashley, another wonderful post, but what's sad is that the type of person who does this, who gives up on an animal and surrenders it, is not likely to read this post, or to keep reading it. or to seek it out. So if any of you other readers are reading my comment, how about sending the link to someone you KNOW should read this? Maybe someone who has talked to you lately about a problem they are having with their pet? Maybe someone that you know is getting ready to move and there might be a chance that means dumping their pet...maybe someone getting ready to have a baby that has been complaining about their pet? I know people in each one of those categories, and I'm sure you do too. SHARE this with the people who NEED to read it.

  10. This brought tears to my eyes. The only time I've ever had to take animals to a shelter was when my cat had kittens & I couldn't find homes for two. I took them to the Humane Society. I was determined to make sure they found homes, and asked if I could call to see if they'd been adopted. A week later, they luckily had both been adopted out. Just doing that broke my heart. I HATE when people dump their animals; and to do it at a kill shelter is just unforgivable! My pets are my kids. If I became homeless, my pets would be with me wherever I ended up, even if we had to live in the car together! One of the things that really bothers me is when someone surrenders an animal because they got a new pet. My family and I have 8 pets: 5 dogs and 3 cats, ages 1-15. I couldn't imagine giving any of them up or trading them in for a younger model. Thank you for what you do and for being a voice for so many animals who can't speak for themselves.

  11. As always, your blogs / website brings tears to my eyes. We are in the process of adopting from a rescue and luckily are getting the dog the same day as she is being surrendered so she never has to feel this. I know she will be waiting for her "parents" for a while - my last rescue Rosie looked at mini vans for almost a full year - we think her former owner had a mini van. Our Rosie ended up being much happier in her forever home. I know our new Maggie will too.
    Thank you for all you do. How can i sign up to volunteer to transport dogs?

  12. This post is meant to give these dogs a voice. The owners who surrender their pets already have a voice. Trust me, there are other options available, but people have to CARE ENOUGH to exhaust every possible option before ever considering this decision.

    And even if they decide to surrender their pet, they still deserve to know the reality behind that decision, from their pet's perspective. This is a choice that WILL CHANGE THIS PET'S LIFE FOREVER, but the pet has no say-so in the matter. So, this isn't about judging the owners. It's about giving the dogs a voice.

    Also, like I've said, y'all would be shocked at how many emails I receive from non-rescue, non-animal people that have started to read my blog because YOU shared it. Sure, my most dedicated readers may already know this information, but then those readers SHARE it with others, and more & more become educated.

    Sharing this post has the potential to change perceptions and save lives. Trust me... I hear from the people all the time who say, "I was thinking about doing this until I saw your blog post on my friend's page. I had no idea, and it honestly changed my decision."

    So yes, please do SHARE with your friends, especially those who wouldn't otherwise read this... but who need to know this info. It can't hurt, and it truly has the power to HELP!

  13. I read your blog every day there's an new post, and I have to say... every day, I'm brought to tears in gratitude for everything you do for these sweet babies.

    That, and every day, I hug my adopted pups harder than the day than the day before. I'm sure that they think i've gone a little nutty, but my rescues have come from the situations you describe - my girl is owner surrender to a rescue group, my older boy was dumped at the animal shelter and my youngest boy was abandoned in the SoCal desert.

    So, thank you thank you thank you for being the voice that these dogs deserve.

  14. Nice article! We have a pup right now and training and patience takes work. Puppies are like babies or toddlers, they go through potty training, teething, swapping chewable toys for non-chewable items. Learning to understand their human. Those that don't have the patience for this should not have children or dogs!!!! Annie Weddle

  15. I live on a dirt road in the middle of no where. I find the dogs that people drop off. And they wait. They go hungry and get hit by fast moving trucks, they have to watch out for wild animals and look for water and food. And they WAIT still for their family to come back. And my heart breaks every time I realize another baby has been left and they don't know why. A month ago it was a litter of 7 pups. Three weeks ago it was three Pitt mixes. The SPCA caught two, but used a choke pole and he can't catch the last one. And when I came home tonight, a beautiful black lab has been left...walking up to every car that comes by, begging to get in and not get left. And it's been left with the one that's been there for three weeks. I curse and cry every time. And I BEG the heavens to let me catch someone doing it!! They won't go anywhere until the police come, I can promise you that.

  16. And the worst of the worst Owner Surrenders IMO are the "Dog Trainers" who dump their dogs. Drop at a shelter, list them for free on Craigs List, or call me and to say they have FOUR days to get rid of the dog they adopted TWO YEARS ago because they knowingly moved into an apartment that doesn't allow mastiffs and, oh btw, he bit some lady who needed over 20 stitches... These people that call themselves Dog Trainers are supposed to set an example. They are supposed to be our role models. Any person who works with animals and then dumps them can go right to you know where.

  17. Thank you Ashley, you always bring me to tears... but I think there is one important point in all of this: these people who surrender their pets (and believe me, I've got to know a few people who would put the lamest excuses like "we don't have time to train him and has become aggressive" or "I'm moving in with my girlfriend and she doesn't want my cat", so pathetic) they shouldn't have got a pet in the first place. These are the type of person who go "oooh what a cutie, let's buy a pet", and as soon as he starts bothering them, they become sad because they love him but they can't live like that. And the problem is that they don't realize that to own a pet means you have to make a lifelong commitment to take care of them and love them no matter what, and believe you will both overcome any difficulties on the way, because he relies on you and you made a promise. As simple as you said, would these people get rid of their children because they cry? or they become difficult with age? NO, you work it out, because they are your children and you love them no matter what, and you want the best for them. Same thing should be with your pets, they ARE your babies, and they DESERVE that kind of opportunity. So, all these people should think twice before getting a pet, of all the problems that could come along the way: moving to another country, even allergies, having a baby, money, behavior problems, anything! because it is just your responsibility, and if you think you will GIVE UP, don't get a pet. Because you HAVE TO COMMIT to give him unconditional love and promise him you will do everything on your hands to make him happy, and you will be worthy of his love.

  18. Wow Ashley, my heart is bleeding, my eyes have tears. I have great love for my dogs. They are so lucky. Just like your dogs.
    Deb... Tampa Fl

  19. I have an owner surrender dog who was left at a shelter in a college town. She was then adopted twice and returned twice for behavioral problems. Considering the shelter, it's really remarkable she lived long enough to end up in my home. She was deeply, deeply scarred by her experiences and it took almost three years to get her past that and the behavioral issues that had either been the cause of her abandonment or were caused by it. I wish more people would give their actions serious thought and not delude themselves that their dog will be the lucky one. I work in a vet's office and I frequently educate people about this sad fate.

  20. I was an owner who surrendered once. My life situation changed and I had to move in with my mother, where no dogs were allowed. I had no choice. I put Abilene in a boarding kennel for a while but when things didn't get better, I knew I had to let her go to a real home. I talked at length with the shelter to be sure she would be placed, and she was. The thing is that I couldn't explain to her why I had to let her go, and she never knew how hard I cried. What I will never forget is how happy she was when I picked her up from the boarding kennel, followed by the look on her face, the look directly into my eyes, when I brought her to leave at the shelter. She felt betrayed by me. I know she went into a good home, but I'll take that look on her face with me to my grave.

  21. @JAMIE FROM MAINE: Please write me at mcgaelicgal3 - gmail, (or comment on the FB page url below) and I can put you in touch with some terrific transport groups. Bless your heart for being willing!

    Ashley, as always, wonderfully done. I will share on my FB acct and on Clan McAdam's page.

  22. @JAMIE FROM MAINE: Sorry, I goofed. Click my name to contact me. If it doesn't work, and you're on Facebook, search for Clan McAdam or Kirsten Sellards McAdam. I can put you in touch with animal rescue transporters from there. =]

  23. What I posted as I shared this on Facebook....

    "This woman's blog really touches me. There are things that I will NEVER do, and one of them is give up on my dogs. I have promised them a good life, for as long as that is...and I will keep that promise! Hopefully, the majority of you out there would do the same for your pets....."

    - Malcolmfett

  24. Great article - thanks for sharing & *trying* to help people understand the harsh reality

  25. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  26. Then there are the ones whose owners have died. Their beloved owner has died and there is not one person in the whole family who can find a place in their heart and home for that loyal dog or cat. My little Jake was an 11 year old beagle x whose owner had died. He was about as wide as he was long and I am sure every cracker his owner had he shared one with Jake. When his owner died the owner's "loved ones" dumped Jake at the shelter. Little Jake was completely housebroken, didn't bark excessively, loved cats and other dogs and was wonderful with kids. I watched him sink into a deep depression over the few weeks he was at the shelter. He went from a happy, expectant dog to a sad, sick dog. The family members never gave old Jake a second thought. Within 48 hours of bringing Jakey home, his digestive issues resolved, he was perky, and smiling again. He just needed to know that he was in a new home now, that his old owner couldn't come back, but his new home was forever now. Jake lived for four more years. He gave us far more than we gave him.

  27. Just wanted to say that I have been reading your blog for about 3 months now my mom introduced it to me thru her blog (midwest cottage & finds). I completly agree with what you said about abandoning your pet b/c you are expecting a baby. That is no excuse! We have a 13 year old german shepherd that we rescued 7 years ago. He is such a loving old man and is wonderful with our 3 children ages 5, 3 and 8 weeks. We just returned from a trip to St. Louis on Thursday with our 2nd rescued GSD. Liberty is a 15 month old (estimated) pup that was found abandoned with her mom and dad this summer. SHe is such a lover and wonderful with our children so far. I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work you are doing to give these dogs great homes. We appreciate it so much and wish we could adopt more rescue pups! =)

    Jessica Dobra

  28. I am at the point where I cannot have any sympathy for owners who cry "and feel so bad" when they surrender their dog to my rescue. In all the years I have been in dog rescue, I have heard and seen too many lame excuses and watched these dogs break down while they wait for a family that will never come back for them. I have hugged and kissed too many of these heartbroken babies to have any sympathy for a divorce couple who don't have time anymore for their 8-year old dog because they want to date again. It is so hard on them...

  29. It breaks my heart to read this, as we surrendered our Kiki this year. She attacked me bite me two days in a row and I begged and cried for my husband not ton take her away. We have a son, who she also bit and her behavior grew more and more aggressive, to the point where were all afraid. Not a day goes by where I don't feel guilt and shame by what we did, we felt there was no choice, but I know that there probably was. Where we surrendered her promised they would not put her down and, in my heart, I believe that they did not. I like to think that she got a job at the airport as a drug sniffing dog and she is helping to keep our country safe. We have another dog and he is the love of our lives. We want to adopt now and I have sworn to never surrender another animal as long as I have life in my body. So, as much as this tortures me, and as much as Kiki was scared, she was not the same dog and I don't know what else we could have done to keep our family safe.

  30. I would jump off of a cliff before I ever ABANDONED my Willie. I rescued him 6 years ago and he is the love of my life. I can't imagine a day without him. I would eat macaroni and cheese every night before I gave him up for financial reasons. I would work 3 jobs. I don't get it. I don't understand how anyone could do this.

  31. Yes it is wrong to surrender a dog out of inconvenience. But you fail to mention when an animal becomes dangerous to people. Our beloved ,110 lb"rescue" dog that we had for 2 years with nothing but pure happiness, out of nowhere viciously attacked a passerby on our street. We gave him to a "no kill" shelter out of threat of being sued and not wanting to see him destroyed. Well-he bit someone else and the shelter wanted to give him back to us. I have three small children and live across from a school. Children are constantly present in my home and the thought of him hurting one of my friends' children makes me sick. SOMETIMES there are reasons to choose protecting humans over keeping a beloved pet. In the end we had him put to sleep.
    I really love that you are promoting not giving pets away out of inconvenience such as moving, or babies coming etc. But when they threaten your children and your home please don't include pet owners like me in your group of "irresponsible" or "at fault" people. I have been devastated by this and I hope you can understand that when people are faced with the safety of their children and other HUMANS sometimes the ultimate choice has to be made. Some people would actually say THAT is responsible.

  32. In my opinion, if a dog is human-aggressive, then the kindest thing you can do for that pet is to have them humanely euthanized at your vet's office, with you by their side.

    Any human-aggressive Owner Surrender will be euthanized immediately at the shelter, for obvious safety reasons. But in their final moments, that pet will feel abandoned, confused, heartbroken, and terrified. Is that really the best choice for a beloved pet? Wouldn't you want someone to be there for you at the end?

    It's much more compassionate to seek humane euthanasia from your vet, where you can provide comfort for the pet at the end... than to leave them at the animal shelter to feel despair and sheer terror before they are killed.

    Again, this is my opinion.

  33. Your article had me in tears. I lost my Foxy Lady on Oct. 12, 2010.

    I'd give anything to have her back in my life. Lady was among the fortunate and the unfortunate at the same time. She was greatly loved, but she developed renal failure. Five months of daily treatments at the vet's (Mon.-Sat.) couldn't cure her. I lost my little love, the little bundle that gave me unconditional love every day of the week.

    She grew up with me working from home, so she never knew the lonely feeling of being left at home alone.

    I want to bring another Foxy Lady into my home, but rescue groups in Florida are over demanding ... demanding that I install a fence fully around my lawn ... at a cost to me of $5-7K ... for a fence that I neither need nor want.

    My Lady was never left outside in the lawn unless she was leashed and unless I was with her.

    She had ample play room on the lanai, where she could romp and bark at the motorcycles that she loved to hate.

    I always hear the term: DON'T SHOP, ADOPT! But so many restrictions are placed on those who are willing to adopt that, like me, they often give up. I miss that unconditional love that I was given each day, but I'm not in a position to have a "barricade" installed around my property and I don't WANT a "barricade" that would take away from the beauty of my property.

    I'm a mature man. I know how to treat and care my dogs. With love ... the same unconditional love that they've always given me. 'Nuf said!

    1. I completely agree with you on the whole adoption agencies being overly demanding. Especially the breed specific ones. we've NEVER had a fence and our dog stayed in our yard and never ran off. As long as the potential new owner has never harmed an animal and can provide a loving home nothing else should matter. This is precisely why I am shopping instead of adopting. Every animal I have ever had has been adopted, but with living in an apartment with no yard and having the intention of getting the dog as a service dog the rescues just get WAY to nosey. All my animals (2 cats, one bengal one persian) are healthy and beautifully kept, so please PLEASE, don't make bringing home a new family member so complicated!

  34. Hey Ashley, I wanted to vote for you in the Animal Rescue Site's $300,000 shelter challenge, but I can't seem to locate your rescue. Are you registered with them? I think you have to be registered with Petfinder.com to be eligible. Here's the URL to the page with details: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces?siteId=3. I hope you register to become eligible, you're getting enough of a fan base now that you could have a really good shot of winning! Thanks for everything you do,
    Lisa in Seattle

  35. excellent post ashley. i can completely related to your comments about how difficult it is for an owner surrender dog at a shelter vs. a stray. i volunteer at my local shelter and my heart breaks for them everytime, shaking, scared, looking so desperately alone. i just want to take give them a never ending hug. i honestly don't know what is worse, they strays who have never known love or the owner surrenders who watched love walk away from them. it's absolutely tragic. sometimes it's everything i have to NOT say anything to people surrendering their dogs for the most ridiculous of reasons. thank you again for posting - i will most definitely be sharing. keep up the great work girl, you are awesome!

  36. If I may opine, if you don't have a handful of friends who could take your pet in a dire situation, you should make more human friends before you adopt a pet friend. There's no good reason to surrender your pet to a shelter. It saddens me that you even have to accept owner surrendered animals.

  37. I cannot imagine any situation that would make me surrender my babies. none. period.

  38. Almost every post I read on your blog makes me cry. But that might be a good thing. What you write is inspiring.

    I am in the process of signing up to be a foster parent with our local rescue group. We might not be able to take in a dog until 3 weeks from now, but I started volunteering at their adoption events already. It was amazing to see that they had more volunteers that they knew what to do with. This Saturday they had at least 30 volunteers. I think having a community service requirement at the local school district helps as well as having a university in town with many students willing to volunteer.

  39. Many years ago I was forced to surrender my beautiful brindle boxer puppy to the local anti-cruelty center. It made me sick to say good-bye to her and never know what happened to her. I pray that she found a good home and someone to love her forever but I will never get over the pain I feel in my heart. I miss her to this day.

  40. Megan Starnes Finlay
    Hi, Ashley! This dog is scheduled for Euth at 4pm today. I have contacted the shelter and she will be killed. She is a healthy girl, HW negative, shows no signs of aggression, and is described as shy and sweet. I will sponsor all adoption and vet fees for this girl, but I can't foster her. Can you advocate for this girl? We only have a few more hours.


    Like · · 8 minutes ago · .

    Megan Starnes Finlay Her Gaston County Animal Shelter number is 6224. Please contact me if you can help!!
    6 minutes ago · Like.

    Megan Starnes Finlay
    Hi, Ashley! This dog is scheduled for Euth at 4pm today. I have contacted the shelter and she will be killed. She is a healthy girl, HW negative, shows no signs of aggression, and is described as shy and sweet. I will sponsor all adoption and vet fees for this girl, but I can't foster her. Can you advocate for this girl? We only have a few more hours.


    Like · · 8 minutes ago · .

    Megan Starnes Finlay Her Gaston County Animal Shelter number is 6224. Please contact me if you can help!!
    6 minutes ago · Like.

  41. I hope that someday you will have children & realize that when something or someone puts your child in danger or your family, you will do anything in your power to protect them and that may mean surrendering a pet who may be human-aggressive. While you may love your dogs, the love you share for a child for whom you created and gave birth too, far outweighs the love that you can ever have for anything else in this world. So, if a dog attacked my child or posed a threat, frankly the last damn thing I would want to do or would do would be there caressing it by its side at the vet. Dont be so quick to judge others as you have no idea of their situation or their life. I know you claim these dogs are your children, I understand that you love them, but create a human being who is a part of you and I assure you there is a big difference.

  42. I've adopted rescued pets my whole life. My cat lived with medical issues lovingly in my home for 16 years until he passed. My family adopted a Brittany and had him for a year and a half. We surrendered him today to our vet who will foster him and place him in a home (and he will be home fostered). Unfortunately he had seizures, that we couldn't even control with phenobarbital. After the seizures he was so disorientated that he was aggressive near my children on several occasions. Despite our desire to try longer, it was clear there was a potential danger to our toddlers. It is not typical behavior as we have also had a boxer (who passed after brain cancer) and she never was aggressive. This was a horribly painful decision...and we made sure he went to a trusted individual as he will be very adoptable to a home with no children or older children that can understand how to behave in his situation. We've had animals all our lives...we've walked many of them to our their graves of old age...never ever giving one up. We've spent thousands treating animals with anti-cancer meds, steroids and even surgery even when we had to borrow or charge to save the animal.

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  97. Sometimes it is more humane to surrender the vicious mutt than to just dump it somewhere. A stray my husband decided on a whim to keep turned around and viciously attacked my beautiful Golden Retriever of 10 years for NOTHING. That stray dog is worthless. Stop blaming the victim - you sound like a liberal patsy. Wait until something happens to someone YOU love...then your cheesy liberalism will disappear. Anyway the vicious attack dog MUST go. Isn't surrender more humane than just dumping it out?

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  99. I too two days ago surrender my two dogs. I didn't have the money to pay for the deposit to.keep them here with us. I have been crying all day my son is not eating. We just moved from another state. I asked everyone to help me take care of them. No one wanted to help us. I put it on Facebook saying please help us they need a loving home home. Call me 915-999-6251 no one called. Eventually they found out we had them in the apartment. I wish I had the money to get them back and pay so they will be here with us. I feel terrible. They are good educated dogs. No health problems. My son said "mom all I want for my birthday is for them to come back." If anyone please wants to rescue them before they get killed. Please!! Even if we can't have them but you have the money to buy them back. Please call me 915-999-6251

  100. I did surrender my dog last year. I didn't want to but my partner and caregiver went out and never came home leaving me to care for three dogs when I couldn't care for myself. I tried to keep all three of my dogs but after two months of begging anyone and everyone for help with no results and my boy going crazy from being cooped up in an apartment and myself facing being forced into a nursing home I found a rescue and they took him. It broke my heart to let him go but you are right it isn't/wasn't about me it was about him and what was best for him. It seems that you like many of my "friends" seem to think anyone who surrenders their pet is a heartless monster and that just isn't the case. My pup has been adopted and last I heard was doing well but I sure wish one of "animal lovers" I asked for help to keep my dog, the same "animal lovers" that now paint me as a monster would have been willing to lend a hand because if they had my sweet boy would still be here.

  101. I came very close to surrendering a dog to a shelter about 10 years ago. I was being actively stalked by a violent ex-boyfriend who had already killed my two cats. I was on the verge of mental and emotional collapse, moving every couple of months when the ex found my new address, and working crazy hours in an effort get the funds needed to rebuild my life. My dog was a huge, high-energy mutt who had been a wonderful farm dog before our lives were turned upside down but being left alone all day in a studio apartment turned him into a destructive, neurotic mess who howled non-stop from the moment I left for work until I returned. I ultimately found him a new home with a family and a yard. A decade later, I still feel guilty and I still don't know what else I could have done.


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