Help With Your Dog
We do not take in dogs surrendered by private individuals. Our dogs come from public shelters where they are at risk of euthanasia or from cruelty confiscations.
The most common reasons that people surrender their pets are behavior or training issues, housing problems, family or job changes, and moves. There are often solutions that can keep your pet in the family, and we’d love to tell you about some resources that might help you and your dog.
If behavior issues are the problem, take heart! Most of them have solutions. We recommend seeking the help of a trainer who can evaluate your situation and give you good strategies for addressing a range of common problems, including fighting between dogs in a multi-dog home, leash reactivity, impolite behavior such as jumping up and barking, resource guarding, and housetraining issues. The trainer may recommend veterinary tests and/or an evaluation by a canine behaviorist.
If you do choose to give up your dog, your choices are the public shelter or private rehoming. All the public shelters in our area euthanize frequently, and there is no guarantee that even a young, healthy, friendly animal will make it out of the shelter alive. Our local shelters do their best, but the shelter is always a scary and stressful place for an animal. It is much kinder to find a good home for your dog instead of taking him or her to the shelter. Please note that the public shelter in Putnam County will not allow any dog labeled a “pit” or “bulldog” to be adopted directly. This greatly lowers their chance of leaving the shelter alive.
If you decide to rehome your dog privately, here are some tips to help:
1. Make sure your dog is neutered or spayed, heartworm negative, and up to date on all vaccinations and heartworm/flea preventatives. Dogs who are crate-trained and house-trained, have good manners at home and on outings, and know basic obedience much more likely to be adopted quickly. Please also get your dog microchipped and register the chip to yourself. You can then add the adopter when the dog is adopted.
2. Make flyers that are honest and detailed about your dog. Get good quality pictures and make the flyers informative, attractive, and upbeat. Then post them everywhere! You may also want to make postcards or business cards.
3. Mobilize your personal networks. Tell everyone you know about your dog.
4. Use social media. Make a Facebook page for your dog, or a Twitter account, or… the sky’s the limit!
5. Use Craigslist and local newspapers, but please do not give away your dog to people you do not know or advertise “free dog” on Craigslist or elsewhere. Too many animals end up victims of cruelty and neglect when people give them away. Instead, we urge you to read carefully to make sure you find your dog a secure and safe new home.
6. Check references and charge a rehoming fee, and make sure the adopters know that you want to be informed if they can’t keep the dog.