Post # 1
I was very startled by the depths of responses in another thread, to a poster who said she would give up her FI with (unknown degree of) allegery issues rather than her cats. I think we can all agree that OP should have tried very hard not to get in that situation in the first place (e.g. by dating someone allergic when she knew she wouldn’t give up the pets). Many posters thought there is never a circumstance where it’s ok to give up the cats. My question is: Why is it so bad to rehome a pet?
Please be polite and civil in responses in this contentious topic. And towards that, a few ground rules:
1. We are NOT talking about giving up (dumping?) a pet to a shelter. Please focus and do not spin this. We are talking about a hypothetical person who would carefully and diligently look for a loving home to whom to give the pet. The person would be comfortable knowing if anything unforeseen happened at the new home (e.g. the owner is hit by a truck and requires intensive care and can’t take care of even themselves anymore), the new owner would also diligently and carefully find a loving home.
2. All reasonable measure have been taken to keep the pet. For example, training if the dog bit the child, or meds if someone has basic allergies.
3. Something unforeseen happens to require rehoming. For example, the dog, previously lovable around kids unexpectedly bites the kid and it turns out the rescue dog was previously in a situation with kids that this brought out (so it was nothing you did that changed the dog) and the shelter did not tell you about it when you got the pet as they should have. Or the dog was hit by a car, personality changed and is now extremely aggressive around your kids. Or your husband had mild allergies and was dealing ok, but its now turned into severe-visit-the-hospital-can’t-breath allergies. (Make up your own story.)
4. We are not talking about rehoming an elderly 25 year old pet with months left to live, where an adjustment at that age would be crazy difficult and fairly unnecessary.
Post # 3
I would try my very hardest to keep my pitbull if I had to move. It’s hard because most places won’t allow him. I have a couple circumstances where I would rehome a dog;
1. If the dog bites my child or gets overly aggresive with my child. I’m sorry but there is no way I would keep a dog that I can’t trust to be around my DD’s. One bite and the dog is gone to a home that does not have children.
2. If we could not find a house to live in that would accept our dog. If it came down to a roof over our heads and our fur baby then we would have no choice but to find him another home.
Post # 4
I am a big pet person, and every pet we ever had in my family was a rescue. My personal belief is that when you bring a pet into your home, you are bringing them into your family. As family members, they should be afforded certain rights, and that includes that you will do everything you can to give them a happy, healthy life.
That being said though, there are exceptions to every rule. If my pet was making other members of the family unsafe or if for some reason I couldn’t afford to care for them, then I do think it’s ok to find them a home they would be happier in. Sometimes when you love something, the best thing you can do is let them go.
Post # 5
A lot of people think that nobody could treat their pet as well as they could. Which of course is not the case, there are many wonderful pet owners out there. We have had pets we have kept for life and we have had pets that we have had to re-home, sometimes life just goes that way. As long as you take the time to find the right home for the pets there should never be a problem.
Post # 6
@kay01: I made a commitment to my furbaby for the length of his life. I don’t have a “dangerous” breed dog and I own my home. I can’t see any reasonable circumstance where I would ever give him up. If he had behavioural issues, that would be my fault and not his. I would get him the training he needed and not just give up because it’s hard. Also, I wouldn’t move somewhere that didn’t allow my dog.
Post # 7
I’m usually 100% for keeping pets no matter what, but in this case I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to rehome. If someone has serious allergies and cannot be around that animal, it doesn’t make sense to put a permanent relationship on the rocks rather than finding someone else to love the cat.
Post # 8
My parents had to give away a family dog once. He was a rescue dog and we had him about 2 years. My mom was 8 months pregnant with my little brother when one day she tripped and fell. The dog got on top of her, pinned her down, and was growling at her so badly he was salivating. He kept opening his mouth and placing it on her (neck, shoulder, wrist). He didn’t bite her, but he remained on top of her, pinning her down, until my dad came and had to forcefully remove him. He was a Collie, so not an aggressive breed. My parents found him a home with no children and LOTS of land so he could do whatever he pleased. They never felt even a speck of guilt because my mom felt unsafe and was worried about how he would behave with a baby in the house.
Yes, a pet is a forever commitment, but sometimes things come up. Circumstances change, the animals change. To my family, it was more important to keep my mom and a new baby safe. It makes me mad when I see people giving their animals away on FB/complaining that they had to take them to the pound because they “just weren’t prepared for pet ownership/just didn’t have time anymore” but I do think there are acceptable circumstances where it just isn’t possible to keep the pets.
Post # 9
@MrsPanda99: That’s why I tried to give a scenario where the behaviour wasn’t the owner’s fault/creation. My dad has a scar on his lip requiring stitches from a dog that bit him when eating a pretzel. Did he blame the dog? No, he blames his aunt and uncle that taught the dog to leap up and grab pretzels out of the air. Dad unknowing ate a pretzel near the dog and the dog did as trained and grabbed his lip too, ripping it open on the way back down.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t feel guilty over rehoming a pet. In fact, I’ve done it. A dog I used to have hated the apartment we lived in. He was sad all day no matter for how long he want outside. He now lives in a farm with my dad where he is perfecly happy. I haven’t felt guily for one second. I miss him, but so what?
Post # 11
@kay01: Exactly. So I wouldn’t rehome that dog. I personally wouldn’t do it. I’d find a way to make it work.
Post # 12
Well if a dog is attacking people I don’t think it’s appropriate to pass that problem along. If it can’t be managed, it is my responsibility to humanely have the dog put down. It would be hard, but you adopt those kind of difficult choices with the dog (or cat, I have dogs so that’s where my opinion comes from).
If you move, you bring your dog. This requires planning ahead, having extra money set aside for security and pet deposits in case of an emergency move, and maybe moving somewhere not your preference e.g. to an apartment with a further commute or fewer amenities or more expensive rent to accommodate your pet.
You think ahead about life choices: you don’t date someone who can’t tolerate your animal. You think about the future – my dog was five weeks and I was 20 when I adopted him. So yeah, it’s probable I will own him when I enter motherhood. Having a baby is not an excuse for giving him up.
Just because someone else could care for your animal doesn’t mean its ok to rehome them. You are their family, they aren’t humans but they do have emotions and memories. They will miss you when you give them up and be confused and afraid. Maybe those feelings would fade overtime, but maybe not. And if someone is adopting your pet then they’re passing over a potential pet that IS in the shelter that they may have adopted otherwise.
Post # 13
I love my dog like no one else, but I always think about what would happen if I had a baby and my baby was allergic to the dog.
I’d have to give her away. And that would probably be the only circumstance in which I would do so. My DH can take benadryl 🙂
Post # 14
My cat is my baby, so I would never consider getting rid of him – no matter where he went. I know he’d be heartbroken that I abandoned him and so I would I.
When I was growing up, my sister developed allergies to our cats. I told her I’d kill her if she ever got so allergic that my parents wanted to get rid of the cats. Luckily she agreed with me and that was not an option for our family! My sister just lived with itchy eyes.
Post # 15
Considering the amount of pets we have brought into our home (both while I was growing up and now in my own home) because their previous owner was unable to keep them, I can tell you first hand that pets easily adjust to new homes within a few weeks of being re-homed and love their new owners just as much as their previous owners. In fact many pets end up even happier becuase their new situation is better suited to what they need, be it space, or time or companionship. I find it very selfish to think that there is nobody else in the world that can take care of an animal as well as you can.
Post # 16
Whether or not I’d rehome depends greatly on a huge number of factors.
First, if the pet is becoming dangerous to people for no reason that I can fix (aka, personality change and suddenly starts attacking kids, or hit by a car and the same happens, and initial training is not promising) I would find a home where the pet could live out its life safely and loved. Humans come before pets.
Second, if something irreversible about my living situation was making my pet miserable (like cat cannot stand having carpet around and I can’t find anywhere without carpet for a reasonable amount of money, or dog suddenly becomes unhappy with the amount of space we have for it, even though we have a backyard) then I would totally rehome it to somewhere better-suited.
But if I got a dog when I’m in an apartment (like I am now), it’s pretty much my fault for bringing a dog into a bad situation (imo) and I need to fix it to make the dog happy and healthy. Rehoming is an acceptable solution, but I think a bit of judgment in that sort of circumstance is justified – the result was forseeable and preexisting, and I chose to ignore those circumstances.
I’ll also note that I’d have contracts or something similar with the new home, so that I get right of first refusal should they chose to rehome the pet again. That’s just something I wouldn’t be comfortable leaving out, personally.