Foster Based Rescue
Southern Ontario

Very truthful words about OWNER SURRENDERS

Very truthful words about OWNER SURRENDERS

If you have a moment today please take the time to read and share! This was posted on a blog from Lucky Dog Rescue and it is something everyone should hear! Very truthful words about OWNER SURRENDERS:

When a pet owner willingly turns over their pet to an animal shelter, 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.

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.

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.

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??

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.

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