It's "dump your dog" season in the dog rescue world. Maybe you didn't know that was a season. But, unfortunately, it is. Here are some facts for you about dog surrender courtesy of the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.
- 47.7% of dogs surrendered are between five months and three years of age.
- This is "adolescence" for a dog - it's the most difficult period of time to own a dog. If you are not committed to getting your dog through adolescence, just as a child through their teen years, consider adopt a senior dog. These dogs are much more laid back and low maintenance.
- 37.1% of dogs surrendered had been owned for only seven to twelve months of time.
- These dogs go through a hard transition from shelters to foster homes to (we hope) forever homes. Compassionate understanding of this tough transition, training and leadership to set boundaries, and time spent to bond are important factors in establishing a long term relationship with your dog. Understand that your dog will have a tough transition, all dogs do, though all to different levels, and then be ready to give them the support and guidance they need to get through it!
- 96% of surrendered dogs had received no obedience training.
- Kids need to go to school and dogs need to be trained. Any problem that you're having, others have had it before you, and they resolved it through training. Commit to training your dog before you even adopt them! It's a great way to bond with your dog as well as shape the dog that you want to have. Fetch even offers a training rebate to our adopters after you adoption! We want you to train with your dog, and we're willing to pay for it.
- Only 3% of dogs are surrendered due to biting incidents.
- There is a perception that if a dog is surrendered to a rescue, they must be aggressive or have something else terribly wrong with them. We've recently had dogs surrendered for not being affectionate enough, for being too affectionate, for stealing toys from other dogs, and because the owner "didn't realize how much work it would be". Do not write these dogs off. They are beautiful, bright, and worthy creatures. And while their previous owners may not have lived up to expectations, maybe you will.
We share this with you today because it is "dump your dog" season. These dogs need to go back into a foster home and go through at least two more home transitions and confusion and stress. Others dogs will be euthanized in a shelter because we can't take them in, because we're rehoming our old foster dogs again. These dogs will be let down by humans -- again. So before you apply for a dog, please take a moment and really think about the commitment you're making. It's a lot.