Dog relinquishments increase at the start of every year following holidays.

With a New Year Comes Increased Dog Relinquishments

The beginning of the year calls began at 8am on New Year’s Day and have continued daily since then. “I need to relinquish my dog immediately!”.

This is nothing new for any rescue group. It has been perpetuated by the mass adoptions hosted by many shelters as well as mass importation of dogs from other areas of the country, or in some cases, another country altogether. There are responsible groups that will quarantine and vet appropriately, taking the time to carefully evaluate and place these dogs responsibly. This is what needs to happen to give these dogs the best chance at staying in their homes. But there are other groups (and even shelters!) that push the dogs out their door within just a few days to make room for the next incoming shipment. Sadly, we see the end result of this trend. The calls start coming in not to relinquish the shiny new puppy, but rather the 11 year old dog that has been in their home its entire life. It needs vet care and they can’t afford that AND a new puppy. Or they have discovered having two dogs is too overwhelming. Or even justifying the deed by saying it’s the “best thing for our old dog. We love her so much!”. Sad right?

This isn’t the reason for ALL of the relinquishments though.

We now see a new trend. Dogs were adopted while their humans were quarantined at home and the transition back to the workplace changed things. Schedules became more complicated and the dog they adopted has become accustomed to having someone home all day. Anxiety has set in and all of a sudden it’s not as fun as it was. We try to speak with each caller that reaches out to us and hope that we can be encouraging which will ultimately keep the senior dog at home, or a stressed out newly adopted dog on the right path which could ultimately save their lives.

The logical solution to most problems is investigative veterinary care.

Many ailments have a relatively easy fix with either a short term medication or perhaps a long term medication providing much needed relief for arthritis that has been bothering your old friend. The crankiness that you identified always comes with a reason and a good vet will be able to identify it. If a new dog was recently brought into the home there are bound to be behavioral issues after the honeymoon period ends or after you return to work. Another new challenge is the stress found in homes faced with online learning. With the entire family stressed, the dog becomes stressed as well. A few visits from a certified trainer will almost always put things back on the right track. We’re never too old to be trained!

With these beginning-of-the-year calls we also receive many calls from worried, upset, very responsible owners just wanting some guidance on how to fix things themselves. These owners are always easy to identify and we try to do everything we can to help.

We work with two certified trainers and always recommend them to families:

Dog trainers like Jeff Dentler can help you work through most issues with your dog.

If you are not in their service area do an internet search as there are many great trainers out there. Always check for legitimate certifications and check references. Vet recommendations are always a good sign. A small investment in training can lead to a lifetime of healthy quality of life for you and your dog.

It’s a difficult time for everyone. If you have reached out to us for help with your dog or to relinquish please be patient. We do not have paid employees and operate solely on the volunteer power of those that work outside of the home themselves. We do not have kennels and are not able to take a dog within a few days. All of our dogs are fostered in private homes that we feel are the very best match for the dogs we are able to help. The intake evaluation process can take a few weeks, beginning with a thorough report about your dog and its challenges. We are a small group and are focused on providing the best options for the dogs and families we feel we can assist. Our track record speaks volumes and we’re confident that our procedures work well. Please be sure to check our website regularly as our social media venues (Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram) to learn more about what we do and learn ways you can help.

We look forward to working together to make it a better year for both humans and dogs alike! We can’t wait to resume public events so we can make even more friends. Watch for announcements on social media.