What Does Surrendering a Dog Mean?: the Process and Implications

It’s a difficult and emotional decision, but sometimes it becomes necessary due to life circumstances or the pet’s behavior.

Surrendering a dog means: Giving Up Ownership of a Dog

Quick Info

QuestionWhat Does Surrendering a Dog Mean?
AnswerGiving Up Ownership of a Dog
More Info1. Transfer of Responsibility: When you surrender a dog, you legally transfer all responsibility for the animal to another party, usually an animal shelter or rescue. 2. Various Reasons: Common reasons include inability to care for the dog, behavioral issues, financial constraints, or changes in living situations. 3. Process: Involves filling out paperwork and providing the dog’s history, health information, and reasons for surrendering. 4. Shelter Care: The dog will be cared for by the shelter, receiving medical attention and being assessed for adoption. 5. Rehoming Efforts: Shelters and rescues work to find new, suitable homes for surrendered dogs. 6. Emotional Consideration: It’s often an emotional decision and can be stressful for both the owner and the dog. 7. Alternatives: Before surrendering, consider alternatives like training, pet-friendly housing options, or financial aid for pet care.

Surrendering vs Rehoming

Surrendering vs rehoming

Surrendering a pet to a shelter is different from rehoming. When you rehome, you find a new suitable owner for your pet.

In contrast, when you surrender a pet, you turn it over to a shelter or organization with the expectation that they will find a suitable home.

It’s crucial to know that surrendering a dog doesn’t guarantee a loving environment and quick adoption.

While shelters and rescues try their best, the reality can sometimes be quite harsh due to limited resources and the ever-growing number of pets in need.

Pre Surender Checklist

what to do before surrendering a dog

Before surrendering a dog, assess your situation and consider possible alternatives. Some key questions for consideration are:

  • Can you seek professional help for your dog’s behavior issues?
  • Is financial assistance an option for medical care or special needs?
  • Can you explore alternative housing options that allow pets?

Visit the facility, ask about the care of the animals, and make an informed decision based on the well-being of your pet.

Circumstances Where Surrender is Warranted

Behavioral Issues

One common reason for surrendering a dog is behavioral issues. These can include aggression, separation anxiety, excessive barking, or destructive tendencies.

It’s important to understand that most dogs can be trained to curb these behaviors, and often a professional trainer can provide valuable insights.

For instance, a blind dog’s excessive barking might be due to anxiety or environmental factors, and managing this behavior requires better understanding their needs.

Financial Constraints

Another reason people might surrender their dogs is financial constraints. Owning a dog can be expensive, considering costs like food, grooming, and veterinary care.

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can make it difficult to keep up with these expenses. If you find yourself in this situation, explore options like pet insurance or low-cost clinics before considering surrender.

Personal Circumstances

Personal circumstances also play a role in the decision to surrender a dog.

Situations like moving to a new home, changes in family dynamics, job loss, or inability to provide adequate care can lead a person to relinquish their pet.

However, it’s essential to exhaust all options, like seeking help from friends or family, before resorting to this decision.

Health Problems

Health problems mean you may need to surrender a dog

Lastly, health problems can affect the relationship between a dog and their owner. Allergies in owners or significant health concerns in the dog might contribute to the decision to surrender them.

Always consult with your veterinarian and explore treatment options before deciding to surrender your dog due to health issues.

The Process of Surrendering a Dog

Locate Suitable Rescue Groups

Start by looking for a no-kill shelter or rescue specializing in the breed in question.

First, research and find rescue groups or shelters in your area that are reputable and have favorable conditions for surrendered dogs.

You can ask for recommendations from acquaintances or find websites and reviews online.

Prepare the Dog’s Details and History

Gather your dog’s medical records, vaccination history, and any other essential information. If possible, write a brief description of your dog’s personality, behaviors, and preferences.

This will assist the shelter or rescue in finding the most suitable home for your pet.

Initial Contact and Submission of Form

Next, get in touch with the shelter or rescue of your choice. In most cases, you’ll be required to fill out a form detailing your dog’s history, health, and other relevant information.

This step is vital to ensure the organization can accommodate your dog and find them a suitable new home.

Meeting and Evaluation

Some rescue groups or shelters may request a meeting with your dog before accepting the surrender.

During this evaluation, their staff will assess your pet’s temperament, health, and compatibility with other animals.

Keep in mind that having your dog wear a comfortable harness during the meeting can make the process more manageable for both you and your pet.

Remember, surrendering a dog is a serious decision that has both emotional and legal implications.

Make sure you understand the process and trust the organization you choose to surrender your pet.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smoother transition for your furry friend into a new home.

It’ll Be Hard on Both of You

When you make the decision to surrender your dog, it’s essential to consider the emotional consequences for both you and your pet. This difficult choice can bring up a range of emotions.

For you, the owner, feelings of guilt, sadness, and regret may arise. It’s important to acknowledge these emotions and understand that surrendering a dog signifies a significant change in both of your lives.

For the dog, the experience of being surrendered can lead to confusion, anxiety, and fear. In some cases, anxiety in dogs manifests in physical symptoms, such as a runny nose. It’s crucial to be aware of these potential signs of distress.

To alleviate some of the emotional consequences, it’s helpful to:

  • Evaluate your situation carefully before choosing to surrender your dog. Make sure you’ve exhausted all possible alternatives and sought professional advice if needed.
  • Choose a reputable shelter or rescue organization where your dog will receive proper care and assistance in finding a new home.
  • Prepare your dog for the transition by keeping them calm and comfortable during the surrendering process.

By being mindful of the emotional consequences of surrendering a dog, you can make a more informed decision and ensure the best possible outcome for both you and your beloved pet.

Alternatives to Surrendering a Dog

Training and Behavioral Support

If your dog is displaying unwanted behaviors, investing in professional training might be the solution.

Trainers can help you understand the reasons behind your dog’s actions and provide guidance on correcting them.

With proper training, both you and your pet can develop a stronger bond and a more enjoyable coexistence.

Financial Aid Services

Sometimes, financial difficulties can make pet ownership burdensome.

However, there are resources available to help with your pet-related expenses, such as food, grooming, or boarding.

Research local and national organizations providing financial aid services to pet owners in need; they can significantly reduce your financial burden and enable you to keep your beloved pet.

Fostering Services

In situations where you can no longer care for your dog temporarily, consider fostering services.

Many shelters and rescue groups have networks of foster homes that can provide temporary care for your pet.

This option allows you to maintain ownership while addressing the issues preventing you from caring for your dog. Plus, your pet gets to enjoy a loving environment until you can reunite.

Medical Support

Maintaining your dog’s health is crucial, and unexpected medical issues can be challenging. However, options exist to assist with medical treatments and expenses.

Look for organizations offering financial support or low-cost veterinary services to help you manage any necessary medical care your pet may require.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common reasons for dog surrender?

Problem pet behavior, moving, and health problems (for owners and dogs) are among the top reasons people give up their pets. Aggression accounts for 35% of pet surrenders, while 29% are due to behavior issues.

What happens to dogs after surrendering at a shelter?

After surrendering a dog, their fate largely depends on the facility. Some shelters work hard to find them a new home, while others struggle with limited space and resources. It’s important to research and choose a responsible facility to ensure your dog’s well-being.

Are there any consequences for the owner when surrendering a dog?

While there are usually no legal consequences, pet owners may often face emotional turmoil or be asked to provide a donation to the shelter to support the surrendered pet’s care.

Can a surrendered dog be re-adopted by the same person?

Although it’s possible to re-adopt a surrendered dog, it’s not guaranteed and may vary by shelter policies. It’s essential to consider all aspects and alternatives before making the decision to surrender your pet.

What alternatives are there to surrendering a dog?

Before deciding to surrender your dog, explore all other options, such as training, support groups, or even contacting breed-specific rescues. Many resources are available to help avoid surrendering if possible.

How can one emotionally cope with surrendering their dog?

The decision to surrender your dog can be emotionally challenging. To cope, spend quality time with your dog before the surrender, seek support from friends or pet loss support groups, and remind yourself that you’re making the best decision for your pet’s well-being.