Thursday, April 23, 2009

As Economy Sour, More Pets Need Help

According to the linked article, with a declining economy, Chicago animal control workers are seeing an 11% increase of surrendered pets as compared with more than a year ago. One new group of individuals that is standing out as surrenderees is folks that are generally unaccustomed to economic distress. This group of individuals is surrendering more purebred and "designer" dogs due to lay-offs, foreclosures and other economic pressures. Moreover, animal care workers are also seeing more pets that are being medically neglected and surrendered because their owners can not afford to take them to vet or pay for specific veterinary procedures.

On October 24, 2009, the date of my last satellite tour as well as in my book, the Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette, I talk about life's circumstantances changing and how there are times when some of us are confronted with the decision of whether to give up our pets. Before deciding to relinquish your pet, I ask a pet owner to investigate all possiblilites for keeping their dog. If you really can't maintain your pet, take time to find him a good home prior to leaving him with a local animal shelter.

Before turning your pet over to any animal placement organization, try to find your pooch or kitty a good home on your own. Ask family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, dog lovers and pet professionals if they would like to temporarily foster your dog or know anyone else who would.

Next, search for an organization that can foster your pet until you can get back on your feet. programs. Moreover, in some cases, some kennels might work out financial arrangements with individuals whose pets need temporary housing.

If you have exhausted all of your personal and professional contacts, you will need to use a reputable organization and/or web sites to help you. Don't make the mistake of placing an advertisement in a newspaper offering your pet as "FREE" to a good home. Unscrupulous people searching for laboratory animals, as well as dog fighters, obtain pets this way. If you do want to place an ad, consider a classified on an Internet adoption site managed by a rescue organization like can help you find an animal shelter or rescue organization that can help you place your dogs. Also, if you have a purebred dog, visit the website to help put you in touch with your breed rescue group.

As a last resort, search for an animal shelter that has a no-kill policy. When calling any rescue organization, ask about their relinquishment procedures and adoption policies. If you can , visit the facility to assure yourself that the animals are treated well, potential adopters are screened, and there is adoption support should problems arise with the dog.

With most no-kill shelters, space is limited, so please do not expect your pet to be admitted the same day that you complete your application. It is very possible that a shelter representative will set an appointment for you to bring your pet at a later date to a health and behavior evaluations. Testing is necessary to determine whether your dog is suitable for adoption. Generally, you animal will have to pass both tests to be admitted into the shelter. If your dog does not pass the tests, some shelter might offer you euthanasia as a humane alternative. But even if you dog is admitted, you still might have to wait patiently until a space is available for him.

As heartbreaking as it is to relinquish a pet, please take the time to find a proper and quality for your dog. It is worth the effort to ensure that he ends up in the best home possible with people who will love him for the rest of his life.

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