Unfortunately, nobody is immune to financial hardship and unexpected life changes.
The twists and turns of life cause some to face an impossible decision; whether or not to rehome their pets.
If you can no longer take care of your dog, there are a few different routes you can explore.
To help you make the best decision for both you and your pup, let’s discuss the options below.
Common Reasons People Have To Rehome Their Dogs
If you find yourself in the position of needing to rehome your dog, just know that you are not alone in your struggle.
While keeping your canine companion would be the best option for everyone, sometimes life makes this impossible.
To help you better understand that you are not alone in this, let’s list a few of the most common reasons why people can no longer care for their dogs.
Financial hardship is seen now more than ever.
Many are just beginning to recover from the impact of the pandemic, along with the financial complications that people were already facing before.
Because of this, dog owners around the country struggled to care for their canine companions in their home.
Not only can it become impossible for some to cover standard costs like food and routine vet exams, but unexpected medical emergencies can be impossible to cover as well.
With each of these factors considered, you can begin to understand why those who are struggling to get by were forced to find another home for their pups.
Accessibility To Pet Friendly Housing
Not everyone has the privilege of finding pet friendly housing within their budget.
This is especially common when pet owners lose their housing for whatever reason, forcing them to find another option within a short time frame.
If they cannot find a home that allows dogs within their budget, there is often no other option but to surrender their dog to someone else.
Some have friends or family that can take their animals until they find pet friendly housing, but not everyone is this lucky.
Danger To You Or Other Pets
Even those without financial struggles have to rehome their dogs from time to time.
This is unfortunately very common when there are multiple dogs in the home that don’t get along, causing frequent dog fights and stress for the pup affected.
Whether the owner must find a home for the canine aggressor or the victim, this is always a complicated and difficult decision.
This can also occur if the dog is aggressive toward anyone in the home, especially children.
Health Decline In The Owner
No matter how low maintenance a dog is, they still require daily attention and care.
A sudden decline in health can make it impossible for some owners to meet these needs, forcing owners to find a home that can take over the care of their beloved pets.
This is a decision my own grandma had to make when she was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease, forcing her to find a new home for her high energy Catahoula.
In the end, she was able to find a family friend that welcomed Charlie into her home with open arms.
Expensive Medical Needs
Just like you and I, our dogs can fall victim to an array of serious medical conditions that require extensive treatment and ongoing care.
Whether this is an ailment that requires surgery or a medical condition that requires daily medication, sometimes owners just cannot afford it.
It is absolutely devastating for everyone involved, but sometimes owners must rehome their pets for this reason.
I Can’t Afford To Care For My Dog, What Can I Do?
If you can no longer afford to care for your dog, but you are not ready to rehome them, there are a few options you can explore.
First, if it is an unexpected medical cost that you are unable to cover immediately, you should try to apply for either Care Credit or Scratch Pay.
These are veterinary credit lines that offer you instant access to funds if you are approved, and allow you to pay them back monthly like a standard credit card.
If you are not approved for a credit line, or you need more broad assistance with care for your dog, the next route to explore is a dog rescue group near you.
Every organization varies in the assistance they offer, but there is no harm in asking for help with your current situation.
We suggest searching for organizations near you, breed specific organizations near you (if your dog is a purebred), and asking your veterinarian for any local resources.
You can also research the following organizations to see if their services meet your needs:
For assistance available in each state, visit this website.
I Can’t Take Care Of My Dog Anymore, What Should I Do?
If you are unable to care for your dog for any reason, you may be searching for any possible solution.
If you have already explored options like crowdfunding, financial assistance, and the help of family and friends, it may be time to look into the rescues and shelters in your area.
First, we always suggest trying to find a new family on your own.
This can be through your personal social media accounts, on Facebook rescue groups, and even platforms like Adoptapet.com.
This can allow you to have control over where your dog goes, as well as allowing you to screen any potential adopters.
You should also always charge a rehoming fee if you do not personally know the adopters, as this can eliminate the risk of them going into a bad situation.
If you cannot find a home for your dog on your own, you should then reach out to any animal rescues in your area.
This can be either breed specific or general dog rescues, and this will involve surrendering your dog to their care.
They will attempt to find a home for your dog without the risk of euthanasia and they may even be placed in a foster dog home if one is available.
And last, if the two options listed above are not successful, you can surrender your dog to a shelter.
This is of course the most stressful option for the dog, so we do encourage you to explore the options above before taking this step.
However, we know this is the only option for some pet owners and your pup will at least receive the food, shelter, and attention they need while they wait to find a home.
Where Can I Surrender My Dog?
If you are needing to surrender your dog for any reason, you can typically do so at a local shelter or animal rescue.
Be prepared to answer any questions the staff may have about your dog’s behavior and current state of health, as this will allow them to find the best future home for your dog when the time comes.
Though this is not always the case, some shelters or rescues will require a fee to surrender your animal.
This is due to the fact that the organization can only afford to care for so many animals at once, so your surrender fee will allow them to care for your dog in the time it takes to get them adopted.
This fee can range from $20 to $150, so it’s important to keep this in mind if you are surrendering your pup due to financial concerns.
If you cannot afford a surrender fee but desperately need to surrender your dog, just ask the shelter if there are any other options available.
Many times they have resources available to help.
Will My Dog Be Okay Being Rehomed?
No matter the reason why you are faced with the reality of rehoming your dog, it is always devastating.
Many dog owners just want to know that their pups will ultimately be okay, and will continue to think about their canine friend as time goes on.
We can’t always keep up with our dog’s journey in these situations, but finding a new home for them through a rescue organization or rehoming on your own can keep you in the loop.
This can allow you to ask questions about your pup as they adapt to their new setting, and maybe even as the years go by.
We hope this is your reality if you are ever faced with this heartbreaking decision.
Not being able to take care of your dog any longer is an unimaginable situation.
We hope that no matter which route you explore, you find the best assistance for your current situation.
Always remember that many dog rescues take in dogs from people who can no longer care for them.
Your last resort can be to find a dog rescue that offers this service, but know that not all will accept surrenders.