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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just venting here but I'm really sick of so many rescue people/pet lovers who consider rehoming a pet for ANY reason is akin to bashing them in the head with a crowbar. You're automatically a terrible person or terrible pet owner if you consider rehoming a pet for any reason other than your impending death.

I got so much flack for commenting on one of those satirical "I need to rehome my child" posts on facebook. I said it's not fair that some people just can't help giving up their pet. A lot of people struggle with money after a job loss or eviction, some people give birth to kids with allergies or special needs that can't live with a pet, sometimes a pet they get has such severe behavior problems that it's dangerous to all members of the household to keep them, and sometimes the pet would truly be happier elsewhere! I'm sorry but there's a big difference between rehoming a pet because "we just don't want him anymore" and "he's so reactive he bit the pizza boy." There's even a big difference between "we're having a baby and can't give her enough attention" and "the baby has hives all over her and can't breathe".

But my being understanding that life has unforseen circumstances means I don't treat "fur babies" decently. I'm currently working in a pet retention dpt of a shelter that deals with a lot of people who are poor, struggle with health/mental health issues and generally struggle to care for themselves nonetheless a pet. According to these "compassionate" people, poor people and anyone with anything less than a $150,000 a year income and PhD in animal behavioral science doesn't DESERVE the honor of having a "Fur baby". And of course I was told I wasn't a decent person and that people should forsee events like giving birth to a special needs child that hurts the animals or having to move. It comes from such a place of financial privilege (and quite frankly, denial) that it maddens me. I literally had people say things like they have one dog out of their 5 that has a neuro problem and regularly attacks the others but they wouldn't give her up. Yeah, I'm sure the other 4 dogs are really grateful for your keeping her. Even worse, I saw someone who said her daughter is allergic to cats and will go into anaphylactic shock if she touches the cats but she just loads her up with anti-histamines!!!! I'm sorry but that's being a terrible parent, and literally making it clear to your kid that their health isn't as important as your pets. I think it's great that people consider their pets family and are super dedicated to them no matter what (hell I do that), but sometimes...they're better off somewhere else.

Does anyone else see this happening a lot? It just really bothers me and I feel like it's a caustic prejudice that's ever present in the rescue community.
 

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In all honesty, I probably fit the category of people you were suggesting demonized "rehomers" or at least used to, until a very good friend rehomed one of his pack of 4. He's done the rescue thing numerous times in his life and is a superb provider for all of the dogs he's had but it still blew me away that he was willing to part with this tremendous dog, I didn't understand it because I treated the situation as if it was me and my dog. His reasons were all completely logically and in hindsight served the greater good.

This is what I learned from my limited exposure to a "rehomer" and accordingly shaped my previous opinion somewhat dramatically. He loved this dog and this dog was the most affectionate easy going canine I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Of course, I was offered the opportunity to take in this dog and FWIW, this dog was the Yin to my dog's Yang but I'm a one hound household but I was seriously tempted. My friend found a a home for his dog, a great home, a home so great when he visited the dog at its new home, it was a bittersweet moment. He is honest and told me he was hoping his rehomed dog would do cartwheels and be exuberant when he saw him again. His dog was certainly friendly upon their reunion but it was not what he described as what he had hoped for and he turned lemons into lemonade even though it was letdown. He left knowing that his rehomed dog was so very happy and the greater good was served.

The nature of this topic and traciek88's bit of a struggle is one now that I can appreciate. If the process involves selflessness and the belief as you cited " they're better off somewhere else.", you cannot go wrong because it serves the greater good.
 

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I see rehoming bashing happening more with people who are deep into animal rescue, and I see it a lot more on social media, with keyboard warriors, then I do in real life.

I don't like some reasons people give up a pet for. They'll get a GSD from a backyard breeder and send it to a shelter because it sheds too much or got too big. They move for to a new town a couple hours away, have months to find a new place to live, and instead of even trying to look for pet friendly housing they send the pet to a shelter. Then there's he got too old, I want a new dog, and I haven't bothered with training and he won't listen. The ones that really tick me off are the puppy getters, they get a puppy keep it for 4 to 6 months then send it to the shelter, after which a few months later they get a new puppy.

I do understand about needing to rehome though, and I'd never bash someone with a legitimate reason. Sometimes the match between dog and human is very bad even when the human did a ton of research on breed and energy level. People get sick. Sometimes in order to save the dog the person has to give it up to a rescue who can get it the care that it need. Stuff happens.

My two good friends just had to rehome their dog yesterday. The dog had bit a person who came up on their porch and the apartment complex we live in has a 1 strike rule. They fought as best they could to try and keep the dog, they love him dearly, but in the end they were out of options and they are like me cannot afford to move anywhere else. The dog is now with the daughter of someone they know, and even though he went to a good home my friends are completely heartbroken. Yeah, sometimes life happens and sometimes life sucks.
 
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Rehoming a pet has never been just black and white in my eyes. It's a case by case issue. Do your research before getting an animal. Be responsible. Do what is best for the pet and for yourself/your family.
 

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We re-homed a couple of kittens after finding out that my son was allergic to them. We did it soon enough that they were still cute, they are doing fine.

We re-homed our first dog because he never fell in love with us or us with him, and while we were taking care of him because it was the right thing to do and not actively looking to re-home him, he fell in love with someone who fell right back in love with him and it seemed unfair to keep them apart.

If re-homing results in a net gain of happiness, why not? if you are regularly re-homing pets though, you should probably review what is going wrong.

I don't foresee us re-homing our current dog as she is happy and we are happy.
 

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I can absolutely understand what you're saying. Life happens, unfortunately, and sometimes that means giving up your pets. If you can no longer afford your animal or someone in the house turns up extremely allergic to it, then I think rehoming it where it can get the care and attention it needs is the most responsible thing anyone can do. Of course, it can also be the hardest.

My family got our very first giant schnauzer, Skyler, flown in from Wisconsin (we live in Virginia) from a very reputable breeder. My parents spent well over $3,000 on that dog and he was, and still is, one of the best dogs to come into my life. We bonded almost instantly. Wherever I was, he was there too. They spent quite a bit on an awesome trainer. He lived with her and her dogs on a beautiful farm, pond and all, for a month. It broke my heart to be away from him for so long but it was worth it when he came home! He was great! He walked on a leash with no tug or pull, responded to heel while off leash. We could take him anywhere. My dad did get really frustrated when he would call him because he would usually run to wherever I was or to my room lol.

At the time, my siblings were pretty young. My brother was a newborn and my sisters were 4 and 6. He adored them and they adored him. He went with us to NC, SC, and even FL once. He was a great dog until, one night, a cat came on our porch and Skyler went to the window to investigate. He was so fixated on the cat and my sister thought it a good idea to crawl up to his face and he growled and snapped at her. He gave her a nice cut that required a few stitches. Soon after that, mom gave this dog that we had invested so much time and money into away to an older couple with no kids. Maybe it was for the best. My mom certainly thought it was.

In this case, my parents had a perfectly valid reason to rehome an animal. Sometimes, life throws curve balls and you're put in a tough situation. There's no way to foresee or prevent these things and sometimes the best thing to do is to realize you're no longer a fitting home for an animal and see that it goes to a great home or rescue.
 

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I've always tried to live my life without judgement of others. You never really know another person's story.

I'd rather see a dog rehomed to an owner that appreciates it and will go beyond just doing the bare minimum of caring for a dog (like taking the dog on exciting adventures like hiking or strolls in parks, teaching tricks, etc and etc.). If an owner does not want the dog and yet they feel pressured to keep it, what miserable existence will this dog have? A life in a crate? Granted, the owner should have done their research first before getting the pet, but I'd rather the dog get a happy life over someone who just wants to keep it for the sake of keeping it.

What annoys me a lot are owners who insist on keeping an aggressive dog that constantly terrorizes their other dogs. Those other dogs live a life of stress in their own home. Either train your dog, or rehome it to someone else.
 

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I have a problem with people who rehome the dog, to make money. I am not going to re-imburse you for all the expense that dog has caused. I will give it a good home, be a responsible and loving pet owner. I'll give that dog a family. But I'm not here to give you $500, because that's what the dog cost you. Do you want it to go to a good home or do you want to make money? Ticks me off, badly.
 

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Actually, those adoption fees help get a pet into a good home. It's one test of dedication and ability. $500 is standard for rescue groups where I live.
Private folk learn quick (a few hours) to charge at least $100 or else get flooded with casual inquiries.

@tracie88 I love what you are doing with your life! "Pet retention" and agree with all.

Sonic is from a canine outreach program--loved by a refugee family until deported.
Simba and Batman where direct adoption--their people kept in touch. They have 2 floors to play in, and our dog does not harrass them and I am thrilled to have such fantastic cats.

I'm all for responsible re-homing, which is different from dumping and abandonment.
 

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@Artdog I don't think Helenka is talking about rescue groups charging an adoption fee. I see ads on Craigslist all the time from irresponsible people who impulse purchased a puppy, decide to get rid of it, and then want several hundred dollars "to reimburse the cost of the dog."

Yep, I definitely agree that there are certainly responsible reasons to rehome an animal, and there are also people who do it because they're irresponsible, lazy, and selfish. It's not a black and white issue imo. To me it depends on who is rehoming the animal and why. Not being able to afford to keep it or being able to provide for all of it's needs, it doesn't get along with other animals in the household, owner has a medical issue, etc are all legit reasons. But there are certainly people rehoming pets that could probably keep them if they actually cared (For example, I never understood how moving or getting divorced would warrant disowning an animal you truly cared about). Like the reason people always give "I don't have the time for it." Some really don't have the time and some just don't want to make the time.

But yeah, it's usually crazy, self righteous rescue people who are like that, the ones that don't really understand how the world actually works. The ones that say, "responsible breeder is an oxymoron" or that blame shelters for having to euthanize animals. I wouldn't really take it to heart.

The one thing I disagree with the OP is that an aggressive dog should be rehomed. If it's a danger to the family/other people it should be euthanized. Heck, if it's a danger to other dogs (I don't mean reactivity/fear/dislike, but actually wanting to maul/kill other dogs) I think it should be euthanized. I just think that's a public safety risk.
 

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I don't think it's wrong, and sometimes it's the best decision. However, the problem I have with it, is that so many people do it in such an irresponsible way. I see so many flimsy reasons, and it makes me sad/mad. So many people get a puppy, don't train it at all for several months, and then say they don't have time for a puppy and try to get rid of a horribly behaved half grown dog. I also see people getting rid of their older dog, because it doesn't like the new puppy!! That just blows my mind honestly. There's a million other reasons that are pathetic too. My neighbors have gotten about 6 dogs in the last 10 years, and rehomed them all because they're too much work. Ok well you didn't learn after the first one or two?!?!

But rehoming for a genuine reason is not wrong at all as long as you find a great home for the dog.
 

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I also see people getting rid of their older dog, because it doesn't like the new puppy!!
I know someone who runs a rescue who said that once this person relinquished their senior dog and then asked for the leash back to use for their new puppy. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Helenka Personally I would consider that "pet flipping" not rehoming. Rehoming I consider just finding the pet a new home or even surrendering them to a rescue if need be.
@revolutionrocknroll In terms of moving or divorce, in my experience it's not so much the actual moving or divorce (although sometimes divorcees will secretly steal their partner's pet and surrender it out of spite, but that's another story). Usually the actual issue is finances. For example my uncle got divorced in 2000 and we ended up taking his Cocker Spaniel because he couldn't afford a place to live that allowed dogs. Where I live it is VERY difficult to find ANY rentals that will accept any dogs, and even fewer that accept dogs over 25 lbs, and barely any that accept bully or "dangerous" breeds like GSDs, Rotties, Chows or Akitas. And the ones that do are typically very expensive. So a lot of people in the NJ/NY area end up falling on hard financial times, and the "moving" reason behind pet surrenders is really "we can't find a rental in our price range that allows our pets". Then of course there's people who leave the country or to military bases and feel it would be too stressful for their animals to move that far, or they have a banned breed. This is not to say it's sometimes a BS excuse and they could totally take the pet, but that's how it can be legit.

Also I didn't mean a dog that was vicious, but more so reactive like on a leash or fear wise. Or just that the dog can't happily co-exist with other animals. I mean there are loads of dogs who would kill other animals just on instinct but that doesn't mean they're dangerous. And some dogs wouldn't be safe around children if the child was poking and prodding them, but won't do something like go for a kid they pass on the street. Then of course there are redirection bites like that one poster mentioned about the Schnauzer and her baby sister.

Another thing that flabbergasts me is people's reaction (or even non-reaction) when I mentioned that comparing pets to children is not only a bit silly, but it's not even valid. Children get abandoned all the time! There are millions of children all over the world who are abandoned, abused, neglected and treated terribly. Hell there even HAVE been horrible stories of children being sold online in ads like that or trafficked. So I don't know how people expect animals to be treated better than people treat their own kids.
 
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Ah, that makes sense.

The renting thing though, still... if you know you're renting, don't get a dog, or don't get a bully breed, if you're not willing to make it work. I just feel like that's something that's more avoidable. It's super difficult to find pet friendly places here as well, that's why I started looking months before I had to move, and specifically avoided bully breeds when I was looking to adopt a dog. Everyone I know who owns a pet and rents makes it work- it's harder and if you don't care enough about the pet then I can see why that could be a common excuse to relinquish/rehome it.
 

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I know someone who runs a rescue who said that once this person relinquished their senior dog and then asked for the leash back to use for their new puppy. :mad:
This really gets my goat. I used to volunteer at the local shelter and had a hard time with biting my tongue when seniors were turned in because of illness or the "not getting along with the new puppy" excuse. I took three senior dogs and a cat home at different times. They stayed with me until they passed, and I have another cat right now who was 11 when I brought him home two years ago. He's still going strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Tickle that reminds me of this cat rescuer I met who has a 21 year old cat. She said she got her at age 14 when the man she was pet sitting for just never came home! The cat has her own room in the woman's house among her other 8 cats.
 

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Interesting thread. My thought is if you rehome your dog for whatever reason (possibly even to get different dog), what exactly is unethical about that? As long as the dog seems happy with it's new owner, I personally don't see it as really any of my business. I'd question whether someone was really a dog lover if they were doing this continuously but still.
 

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This really gets my goat. I used to volunteer at the local shelter and had a hard time with biting my tongue when seniors were turned in because of illness or the "not getting along with the new puppy" excuse. I took three senior dogs and a cat home at different times. They stayed with me until they passed, and I have another cat right now who was 11 when I brought him home two years ago. He's still going strong.
I do wonder whether some people realize that senior dogs which are given to animal shelters can be hard to find homes for. Most people aren't necessarily looking for senior dogs and I've seen senior dogs stay at shelters for quite some time.
 

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Interesting thread. My thought is if you rehome your dog for whatever reason (possibly even to get different dog), what exactly is unethical about that? As long as the dog seems happy with it's new owner, I personally don't see it as really any of my business. I'd question whether someone was really a dog lover if they were doing this continuously but still.
If you're able to find a good home for your dog, then there isn't an issue. But some people just drop their old dogs off at a pound/shelter, which is usually over-crowded, and older dogs have a hard time finding a place to go, which means they're likely not going to be happy for quite a while, if at all.
 
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I do wonder whether some people realize that senior dogs which are given to animal shelters can be hard to find homes for. Most people aren't necessarily looking for senior dogs and I've seen senior dogs stay at shelters for quite some time.
That always makes me sad. I know that me and my boyfriend have talked it over and will register to be long-term fosters for senior pets once we get our own place. I like the thought of being able to help an older pet, but having the safety net of the rescue to help with any sudden medical expenses. My mother used to always adopt older cats when I was growing up before we moved to Florida and as sad as it was I learned the value of giving the cats a safe warm home to live out their final years.

As someone who is currently helping someone rehome two of their dogs, I sympathize with most who are in that tough situation. Our reasoning is based entirely on financial hardship. We have a half-built fence around the yard for the two dogs that we cannot keep. Hunter and Levi have both learned how to get out of their area and the neighbors have started making threats and it's for their own safety that we have to rehome them. I know many people will judge that decision, but it's our last option. I even emailed 5 different agencies last month dedicated to providing fencing for homes that have dogs and either they were too far away to help or they never replied. Which was frustrating because TJ could build the fence himself we just lack the funds.
 
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