When you ask shelters what the most common reasons dogs are relinquished, you might be surprised to discover that behavior problems are not at the top of the list. The reality is that most dogs are relinquished as a result of life changes. There was a time when divorce was uncommon, the economy was more stable and the average person only had two or three jobs their entire lives. None of that is common now. Today life changes often and circumstances can affect pets.
Many individuals have found themselves without a job in the last few years and have had difficulty finding a new one. Even those who had money set aside for a buffer may have found themselves unable to afford the lifestyle they were living before their job loss. Those who have lost their homes to foreclosure and are forced to move in with family or to smaller less expensive housing that does not allow pets may find themselves having to make a tough decision. Moving to a place that does not allow pets is a common reason for dogs to land in shelters.
Sometimes good people get very ill and usually it is unexpected. Accidents and sudden illness can make it very difficult to care for the animals in our lives and this is especially true of the elderly. While we would like to think that friends or family would care for our dogs if the worst happened, some people do not have anyone to do this for them. When this happens a precious companion may find itself in a shelter looking for a new home.
Life changes and sometimes not in ways we hope. Divorce, the illness or death of a close family member or even someone close to us having their own crisis can change the circumstances of our lives. Maybe a personal crisis has made it impossible to spend time with a beloved dog or has changed a living situation. Perhaps a crisis at work has forced someone to take a new job in another state or even another country and to move to a place where dogs are not allowed. Again, a good friend may end up needing a new home.
While some may feel that many of these issues are not a good enough reason to relinquish a beloved pet, the bottom line is that there are some wonderful dogs out there that need new homes. While Cesar Millan works to find homes for “unadoptable” dogs there are thousands of wonderful well-adjusted dogs who find themselves in shelter situations through no fault of their own. Even if you are not equipped to work with a dog that has behavioral problems, giving an unlucky dog a second chance at a lucky life is a wonderful way to bring a new friend into your home.
In this week’s episode of Leader of the Pack: Saving Sophia, Cesar introduces potential families to Sophia who is a sweet dog with one major problem: she is terrified of everything. Having spent almost her entire life in shelters, Sophia never learned to trust or socialize with humans. How will Cesar choose the best home for poor Sophia? Tune it to Leader of the Pack on Tuesday March 26 at 8 AM et/pt and find out!