As a pet parent, the idea of giving up your beloved pet can seem unimaginable. Unfortunately, it can and does happen. Every year, according to the ASPCA, about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats are living in shelters! And what is even sadder is that 1.5 million of those pets have to be euthanized. Some of the biggest reasons that pet owners decide to surrender their pets are avoidable and fixable reasons. There are alternatives for pet parents that feel like they have no other option than to give up their pet. Let’s consider five common reasons pets are surrendered along with possible solutions to the heartbreaking problem of surrendered pets in Brevard County, Florida.
1. Aggressive or “Bad” Behavior
When a pet parent brings home a cute puppy, some of those cute puppy behaviors can become tiresome, especially if that puppy turns into a big dog. While it may have been cute when the little puppy jumps up excitedly when you walk through the door, it isn’t as cute when a large dog knocks you or your guest over in excitement.
Aggression can also be a cause for concern with some pet owners. Understanding why the dog is aggressive can help in the treatment. Some problematic behaviors can be due to sickness or pain if the pet is not feeling well. If the pet is acting in aggressive ways, it is essential to seek the professional help of a vet and/or a trained behaviorist to get to the root of the problem.
Luckily dogs are very smart and trainable. There are all kinds of training options to help your dog change or stop unwanted behavior. Whether it is digging, barking, chewing, or pet anxieties, trained professionals can help you understand your dogs’ behavior and work with pet parents so the dog understands the rules and acceptable behaviors in the home.
Training takes time and consistency. Sending a dog to boot camp could be an ideal fit for some pet parents and fur babies. A trained professional can spend a few weeks with the pet to establish behaviors that will lead to a happy home. Boot camp trainers can socialize, leash train, and work with a variety of training issues. This could be particularly helpful for pets being adopted from shelters since some may not have been trained or appropriately treated in their former home. Having a well-trained animal ensures the fur baby and their family the stability of a forever home where everyone understands the rules and expectations.
2. Health Problems
A significant reason cats are surrendered to shelters is that the owner or someone in the household finds out after they have brought the cat home that someone is allergic to cats. This can be avoided if all household members spend some time with cats before getting a cat. But even if someone does have a cat, it is still possible to coexist in the same house with allergies depending on the severity of the person’s allergies. An allergist can go over therapy and therapeutic options to curb allergies.
On the other hand, some pets can have allergies or other medical issues that an owner doesn’t feel equipped to deal with. Forming a relationship with a reliable veterinarian can help with preventative measures so your pet stays healthy and can explain heath issues. Some medical conditions can feel overwhelming – both emotionally and financially. There is pet insurance, which can help with vet bills. If you need help getting your pet to the vet, we have a Pet Taxi service that may help.
3. Money Issues
Having a pet can be expensive. There are monthly expenses to feed and groom them, plus monthly medicine like flea, tick, and heartworm preventive can add up. Not to mention yearly costs for checkups and vaccinations.
In Brevard County, there are great low-cost veterinarians to make sure pets are getting the proper preventative medicine. Florida Aid to Animals has office locations in Melbourne and Palm Bay. They strive to keep their prices as low as possible while providing loving care to pets. The Brevard Humane society also offers low-cost medical treatment in Cocoa, Florida. They believe cost should never be a barrier between good health and someone’s pet. They help with vaccinations, micro-chipping, preventative medicine, and nail trimming.
So this is more of an issue attributed to dogs. Most cats can be left alone for hours with no problems, while dogs need more time and attention. When pets are surrendered due to time reasons, it’s because of a schedule change that no longer gives the owner enough time to walk or socialize with their dog. But that is not a reason to surrender your beloved pet.
At Space Coast Pet Services, we provide home visits and dog walking so time will never be a reason to choose between keeping and surrendering your pet. Some dogs can be left home alone for 8 hours a day while their owner is working, but not all dogs can. Depending on the dog, their health condition, and their temperament, they may need more attention and exercise. Most pet parents will notice a massive improvement in behavior and relief from unwanted behaviors when their dog is adequately exercised. If you need help walking your dog or letting your pet out during the day, we can help.
Another big reason pets are surrendered is when pet parents are moving to a place where pets are not allowed. Pet owners need to give themselves ample time to find a new place when they need to relocate. Start looking 6-8 weeks in advance or earlier, if possible. Also, know that most places will need an extra pet deposit, so budget accordingly in the months preceding a move.
Also, on moving day, make sure your pet is properly leashed and cared for during the move. Moving can be hectic and stressful for both pets and their parents. To keep your pet safe, you may want someone to watch your dog while the house doors are continually opened and closed in the packing and unpacking process. If you need a dog sitter, contact us to help your move go smoothly and keep your pets safe!
Let’s all help to reduce the number of pets that are surrendered each year and support pet parents find solutions to their problems. What are your thoughts about this growing problem in Brevard and how to help solve it? Share in the comments!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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