Reasons Why People Surrender Their Pets

Reasons Why People Surrender Their Pets

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

My newest funny-faced baby MandyLane

My newest funny-faced baby MandyLane

My newest funny-faced baby MandyLane Callie-wrong color Gypsy-deformity Tiger-doesn't like other cats

The captions to three of the above photos are some examples of why the so called "human race" throw away their loving cats. These are some of the cats I've had through the years and I added the captions.

Good morning readers. I'm kind of breaking the rules a little with this video, but I believe it worthy of your time. For one thing, this video of the unwanted pets at the shelter where I do my rescues is the story I hear of pets everywhere. This video is excellent in its production, music and photos. It get's the point across in a most straightforward manner.

This video is #3 out of 5 made by the Greenville County Animal Care employees. I chose it because it lists the many reasons people surrender their pets.

I'd like to add that all of the surrendered pets pictured were saved from euthanasia.

This video really makes me mad at the world. I want each of you to watch it and see the many reasons people turn in their pets. These were supposed to be members of the family. Animals we humans took in as babies and promised to love and cherish.

Sometimes the human race just makes me sick. Look at the many excuses for abandonment. That's what this is, if you ask me. Just drive up to your local shelter, unload your cats and dogs and drive off. Forget they ever existed. Never mind that you meant the world to that little bundle of fur.

I've heard many lame excuses for surrendering a pet. "Too active" and "purring too loudly" and "wants to be the center of attention" are the three most ridiculous I've ever heard. Come on people! If you didn't want a cat to act in this manner, you should have saved a cat the heartache of rejection and got a fish!

Why is wrong color or wrong breed an acceptable excuse for turning in a cat or a dog? Some people are upset when their cute little kitten matures into a cat. These people have a serious mental problem if they thought a kitten would remain a baby forever.

Surrendering a deaf cat is also another excuse that burns me up. Many white cats are deaf. This doesn't mean they deserve any less of a life than a cat who can hear everything.

Take a look at the cat in the video who was dropped off at the shelter because of a birth defect. I have a cat who was born with a deformity in his legs. It doesn't make me love him any less. I'd NEVER even consider not having him as a member of my family. He knows he walks funny and is accepting of his disability.

Many declawed cats are dumped on a shelters doorstep because of behavior issues or crippling arthritis caused by the declawing. This is so unfair. First the pain of surgery then the pain of abandonment by someone who didn't deserve to have a cat in the first place. It's all so unfair!

Sometimes I wonder whether pet owners are out to win a beauty contest with their animals. In other words, cats and dogs who are less than beautiful are simply thrown away. I'd honestly hate to be these people. The ones who see only the beauty on the outside and never bother to look at the heart of the animal. I don't know about you readers, but I've had the pleasure of loving some of the strangest looking cats I've ever seen. I've never once thought of returning any of them because of their outward appearance.

As you can see from the video, this happens to dogs as well. No pet is safe when it's the wrong color, size, breed or disposition. This is so sad. A pet expects and deserves a lifetime of love from the moment we accept it into our lives.

What excuse do you hear most often for surrendering a pet? I'm curious.

I hope you enjoy the video. I'll be doing a story in the very near future on how this shelter runs their rescue program, which saved well over 6000 euthanasia list dogs and cats last year.

Elisa

Reasons Why People Surrender Their Pets to Articles of Elisa Black-Taylor

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Reasons Why People Surrender Their Pets

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Jan 23, 2012
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sickening NEW
by: Anonymous

People who surrender their pets because of "looks" are superficial and obviously have no idea of what is important in life. Every animal deserves to be respected and loved. Just because an animals has a deformity does not make it any different on the inside. However people are just as bad when it comes to how they perceive other people who are not "normal" in their eyes.


Aug 25, 2011
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Ugly Cats?
by: Anonymous

I had a friend who was rescueing kittens and cats, as I was. At her house one time I fell in love with a long haired yellow kitten with white spots and ask if I could adopt it. She said no, why don't you adopt an ugly kitten and I TOLD HER THERE ARE NO UGLY KITTENS AND YOU AREN'T SOMEONE i WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH. hAVEN'T SPOKEN TO HER SINCE, AND THIS IS HOW i FEEL, ALL KITTENS AND CATS ARE BEAUTIFUL.


Jan 10, 2011
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sad
by: Kathy W

I find this videao so sad. When we had to get rid of my dogs because we were moving to an apt that didnt allow dogs I was devastated. Thank God a friend of mine who loved all animals gave them a home and kept them till they died. Those same people took 3 of my cats when my husband and I divorced. I did however get one back after the wife passed away and my sons cat passed away also because I was living with him at the time. That cat was my beloved Lia, a Bengal mix that I had since he was born. Now we are moving into a bigger house (so our 5 cats can have more space!) We were talking today about fostering a cat or dog that is homeless. We always wanted a siberian husky and there is a siberian rescue in our area. (Its sad the way the human race has developed into a cruel and uncaring race. Wanting to control everything on this planet. And see animals as disposable objects with no feelings.


Jan 10, 2011
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sad
by: Kathy W

I find this videao so sad. When we had to get rid of my dogs because we were moving to an apt that didnt allow dogs I was devastated. Thank God a friend of mine who loved all animals gave them a home and kept them till they died. Those same people took 3 of my cats when my husband and I divorced. I did however get one back after the wife passed away and my sons cat passed away also because I was living with him at the time. That cat was my beloved Lia, a Bengal mix that I had since he was born. Now we are moving into a bigger house (so our 5 cats can have more space!) We were talking today about fostering a cat or dog that is homeless. We always wanted a siberian husky and there is a siberian rescue in our area. (Its sad the way the human race has developed into a cruel and uncaring race. Wanting to control everything on this planet. And see animals as disposable objects with no feelings.


Jan 10, 2011
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sad
by: Kathy W

I find this videao so sad. When we had to get rid of my dogs because we were moving to an apt that didnt allow dogs I was devastated. Thank God a friend of mine who loved all animals gave them a home and kept them till they died. Those same people took 3 of my cats when my husband and I divorced. I did however get one back after the wife passed away and my sons cat passed away also because I was living with him at the time. That cat was my beloved Lia, a Bengal mix that I had since he was born. Now we are moving into a bigger house (so our 5 cats can have more space!) We were talking today about fostering a cat or dog that is homeless. We always wanted a siberian husky and there is a siberian rescue in our area. (Its sad the way the human race has developed into a cruel and uncaring race. Wanting to control everything on this planet. And see animals as disposable objects with no feelings.


Jan 02, 2011
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Property
by: Anonymous

Pets, according to the law and most people, are just that: property. It makes you wonder if these same people would provide education, healthcare, food, and shelter for their kids were they not required by law to do so. Would you give up your child because it developed an illness and you didn't have insurance? Would you put them up for adoption because they got older and became ugly or weren't "cute" anymore? Would you turn in your child because they made a mess or destroyed something in the house and wouldn't listen to you? Let me think, NO, NO, and NO, you wouldn't!!! Why?! Because you love them UNconditionally! And they are your responsibility as a permanent fixture in your home. So what do you do? You Potty train them (housebreaking), you take them to the doctor (pet insurance), you correct their bad behavior (training), you put up baby gates (dig/jump guards). It seems these lazy people are only NOT when they HAVE to be. Everyone wants the overnight, instant fix.
I tried to help a woman keep her dog she was trying to re-home recently because they had moved and it was an outside dog, and they didn't have a fence at their new property yet b/c her husband was building one. I offered her a group of volunteers to help knock it out in one weekend, and she said yes but you have to provide the rest of the materials b/c we don't have the money for it yet. When I said I couldn't do that (it was a wooden privacy fence) I offered to build a temporary welded wire fence till theirs could be completed, she said thanks, but no thanks, and if I wanted to come look at the dog to let her know. Ugh. I wanted to write her back so bad that its a good thing she's finding it another home b/c she obviously doesn't love it that much or she would find a way. Like letting me help her, or finding someone to keep it till it is done. Which btw she said won't be till March. So your not willing to inconvenience yourself for 3 months to keep your dog? Feel bad for the other two you DO keep inside.
Like I said, that's the problem, these people view pets as property, or something other than family. If I had it my way, only shelter adoptions would be legal and everyone would have to go through an approval process.


Dec 31, 2010
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Agree Ruth
by: Michael

I agree with Ruth too. Giving love must be unconditional to receive back.

When I say it is almost selfish I mean that in giving love we create a better world for us all. It is a way to live, as Ruth says.


Dec 31, 2010
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My thoughts
by: Ruth

We have to give out love to receive love back but we need to be unselfish about giving that love and not expect any in return as our right.
Only then, when/if we do get love in return can we appreciate the wonder of it.
A bit off topic but as an example, my dear sister Babz has just unexpectedly been given a huge bouquet of flowers for something she does out of love, never expecting even a thank you, so this means the world to her.
Giving love to animals is very special because when they look back at you with love and trust, that feeling is truly incredible.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Dec 31, 2010
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Ruth (Monty's Mom)
by: Michael

Ummm..I found Ruth's (Monty's Mom) argument very persuasive and true. In my earlier comment I said that I find the least desirable cats (from a conventional standpoint) the most attractive.

Using Ruth's comment, I understand why. They need our care more. In giving more you receive more. It is almost a selfish thing.

This is also why rescue cats make the best. We want to give to them and receive pleasure in that.

I also agree wholeheartedly in the idea of love being demonstrated in actions. It is a true test. It is very easy to say we love our cat. But what are we doing to show it? Only through our actions can be show true love.

Elisa shows it.

Michael Avatar


Dec 29, 2010
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People Surrendering their pets.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Humans are abandoned by kith and kin for various reasons in both the developed and developing World."Child abortions" or "Child abandonment" is very common amongst humans. Cats and most of human pets are animals ,living on the compassion and love of their human care-takers, hence totally disposable by their human owners. Ultimately akin to "Human abandonement","Pet abandonment" calls for responsible human pet ownership."Pet Ownership" is a life-time commitment for responsible "Pet owners".


Dec 29, 2010
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What Love Really Is
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

People say they love their pets, then they toss them away. People say their love their spouse, but the divorce rate has never been higher. People say they love their children, but child abuse and neglect are on the rise. These people don't understand that love isn't a feeling. Feelings come and go, but love is real forever.
Love is what we do, not what we feel. Love is objective, not subjective, because you know love when you see it and don't have to be told about it. People relinquishing a pet will gush at the same time about how they just love him, yet they are still giving him up. Love isn't the words, it's the deeds.
The amazing thing is that when you do the loving actions, you feel love more. When you take care of another living being, even when you don't feel like it, even when it isn't convenient, even when it is messy and hard, you gain love for them. I sometimes ask Monty why I love him so much. He just blinks at me, but I know it's because I rescued him. The more you help someone, the more you will love them. I see this also at the skilled nursing facility where I work. The more I do to help out residents, the more I notice their humanity, their specialness, instead of just their diagnosis.
But if people wait to feel love before they act, they will never act. So as soon as people don't feel like they love their pet, child or spouse, they stop behaving in a loving way-- as if the feeling must come first.
Behave in a loving way even when you don't feel like it and you will always have the greatest spouse in the world, the best children possible and pets who are beloved members of your family through all their short lives.
Wait to feel love before acting and you will find a million excuses not to love. This article shows how stupid and shallow these excuses can be.
As a Christian I was taught that Christ didn't wait until He felt like it to go to the cross for us, He just did it. I try to follow that example. How much must our God love us because of all He does for us? I hate it when people throw away God's good gifts, like their beautiful pets. They and the pets are hurt by this, and the world becomes less than it was created to be.


Dec 29, 2010
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Thank you Elisa
by: Kathy Novelli

Well, of course, people will come up with anything and any reason to avoid responsibility and to continue making their own egos the center of the Universe. I can't imagine being so heartless..so empty inside. Shame BIG TIME on anyone who does this to living, loving animals. I could NEVER in my life do this. Even if I'm away overnight, I am so aware that my fur babies are wondering where I am and are anxious for my return. They need us, depend upon us and give, unconditionally (Well, except for my "LITTLE ONE" who thinks no other cat should get my attention except her...!).

I stopped at a home recently which had a sign "free kitten." When I knocked on the door, the woman opened it (with screaming kids in the background). I asked about the kitten and she said, "oh, I got rid of it yesterday."

GOT RID OF IT!!!

I corrected her attitude and left after learning than an older woman adopted the kitten (thank GOD).

Bless you Elisa...you've got a heart of gold and a loving soul.

Sad sad commentary on the (in)human race.


Dec 29, 2010
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Very sad
by: Ruth

This makes me very sad.
What is sad too is the excuses people make for relinquishing declawed cats to Shelters because those people are the ones who caused the very problems they are complaining about.
Every month as part of a study by a few of us volunteers I look at over 100 cats case histories.
We are noting the age groups,this is one of last times list of declawed cats in the Shelters we are studying:
Young (1 – 7) 4
Mature (7 - 10) 39
Senior (over 10) 8
Look at the number of problems developed by the cat is mature, they were probably declawed as kittens.
How could they part with a cat of that age !
Some of the excuses in the video are given. 'Doesn't like kids' 'Doesn't like dogs' Who can blame them when they are defenceless against the abuse from them ! One that made my blood boil was 'Got a new dog which gets on with dog we already had but doesn't like the cat' No thought that the new dog should go, not the poor disabled cat.
Allergies in the family is a frequently used excuse. Moved without taking cat makes me really angry. Sheds fur, have they not heard of grooming?
Not many admit to litter box avoidance or biting but then again those cats come under special needs so the fact the declawing caused it is hidden.
To me cats are family and we wouldn't get rid of a child if he/she wasn't perfect, but to some people animals are only possessions, not living feeling beings with family rights.
When vet nursing I heard every excuse under the sun for having a healthy pet killed.
Any excuse at all is heart breaking to those of us who truly love animals.
I concluded long ago that some people have neither compassion nor a conscience.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Dec 29, 2010
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Stupid Excuses
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

That video brought tears to my eyes. How much crueler can humankind be? The only possible excuse would be death of owner, especially if it was sudden. Otherwise, the rest is nonsense.

Ill health/death of owner is how Abby came into my life. That's the beauty of our shelter - if circumstance change the shelter wants the animal returned, as they will rehome the animal immediately.

The one about the black cat with deformities really hit home! Poor thing. Glad to hear they all found homes.


Dec 29, 2010
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The same old excuse
by: Susie Bearder

We had a discussion elsewhere about this and I am so with you on this - like the animal in question is an extension of their 'gear'.

I think I brought up the matter of pseudo children elsewhere as well. Well my mother. in her 80s, having lost her two long lived beloved burmese cats Khan and Tikka (Cat in the Box)....phew... was persuaded to adopt two older cats from a refuge. Two sisters, six years old, given up because their previous owners are going to have a baby.....
Good on yer Mum


Dec 29, 2010
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Really Useful
by: Michael

Thanks Elisa for a really useful post. This really is an important article because it confirms what I and all the regulars to this site say (or would say if asked), namely that people who adopt a companion animal really must get their mentality and approach to companion animal caretaking correct before embarking on the long journey of caring for an animal.

It seems to me that a good number of people simply do not have the necessary commitment or correct expectations.

I explore the concept of expectation and mindset in this article: !5 Ways To Avoid Cat Behavior Problems

Personally I prefer cats that are more vulnerable and needy because they are deaf or have some other "defect". This to me makes them more attractive.

It is the connection between cat and human that gives the real pleasure to both animals not appearance.

Michael Avatar



Comments

Reasons Why People Surrender Their Pets — 4 Comments

  1. I volunteer at a mostly no kill shelter – the only time we euthanize an animal is if someone brings in one that’s too badly injured to save, or they are very ill with a painful terminal condition such as kidney failure or cancer – the types of things that come with the elderly critters that a loving pet owner would take to the vet to have them end the pain after treatment options were exhausted. We have plenty of 3 legged dogs and senior dogs and cats that have a permanent home at the shelter until they get adopted, and they are welcome to live out their lives there if no one adopts them. This isn’t a horrible shelter where the animals are stuck in cages 24 hours a day. Most of our volunteers are there to take the dogs for walks, and to let the cats out in groups -some just don’t get along with other cats, so we have to take turns with them, but all the cats get at least 4 hours out of their cages each day to be played with, loved on, and for the ferals that come in, socialized and worked with to get them used to being around people. Before we close up for the day, we go down the list and 3 or 4 cats in each of the cat rooms get to stay out of their cages over night. Puppies and smaller dogs that are recovering from their spay or neuter or healing from surgery after being hit by a car are kept in the cat rooms while they heal so that both the cats and dogs can get used to being around each other – they’re easier to get adopted in case someone has a cat or dog at home already and is worried that the pet they are thinking of adopting won’t get along with their pet at home.

    When I decided to start volunteering at a shelter, I looked around and visited quite a few shelters. Some of them were downright disgusting, many others said they wanted volunteers, but really just wanted donations of money. I’m on a fixed income, but have plenty of time to offer. When I found the shelter I volunteer at, I was amazed at how awesome they run things – and when a cat or dog gets adopted, it’s common for everyone to get tears in their eyes and gather around to see them off as we’ve grown to love these animals during their time with us. It’s especially rewarding (yet equally heartbreaking to see them go) when an animal came to us in such terrible shape that they were so terrified of people it would take months of coaxing them to get them to come out of their cage to enjoy the play yard for the dogs or for a cat to finally crawl on someone’s lap to be petted.

    Having said all that, surrenders that don’t bother me are the death of the owner, or an owner who has been diagnosed with a terminal disease and is trying to make arrangements for their pet to be taken care of when they reach the point they’ll be no longer be able to care for their pet themselves. We have a man come in once in a while, he manages an old folks apartment complex where many of the residents have cats. When a resident passes away, he will first try to re-home them with another resident, but when he can’t find someone to take the cat, he’ll bring them to us.

    I dislike when someone surrenders because they can no longer afford to keep the animal, but I’d rather they surrender them than put them out on the street. I may be more sympathetic to people having real hard times than most, as I had some health problems that kept me out of work for a year and had to consider rehoming my cats. Luckily I have some wonderful friends who also love animals who pitched in and bought me several gift cards to Petsmart so I could keep my cats in food and litter, and my vet let me do a very generous payment plan for their annual exam, which my friends also helped out with.

    I think my most hated excuse for dumping an animal in a shelter is “my new boyfriend/girlfriend hates cats/dogs and I have to get rid of it or they won’t move in with me”. In my opinion, how a person treats animals says a lot about the character of the person. If your new boyfriend hates your dog, keep the dog and find a better boyfriend.

    Allergies are a pretty weak excuse too – I’m allergic to cats, but I grew up with cats and have never not had at least one cat – usually 2 or 3. I vacuum several times a week, and keep them out of my bedroom. If one of my cats wants to cuddle on my chest while I’m watching TV or something, when they are done napping on me, I simply change into a clean Tshirt. Nobody dies from sneezing.

    Another excuse I don’t like is “I’m moving and I can’t have pets at my new place”. Why not look for a different land lord that allows pets or cough up the extra money for the pet security deposit?

    We had one woman that adopted a boxer, and within a couple months she brought him back to the shelter because he had too much energy – she and this dog were actually on Ceasar Milan’s show – I think she thought it was cool to be on tv, because she sure didn’t learn anything from Ceasar. She still wanted another dog – and we tried to steer her to a calmer breed, but she left with a cute puppy. Which she brought back for having too much energy a few months later – said she was scared the dog was going to hurt her kids. Puppies have a lot of energy, we tried to get her to take an older calmer dog, but she just had to have the cute puppy, and was too stupid to understand that puppies are playful. She’d lied on her adoption application and said she had no kids. She wasn’t getting another dog from us, and she raised hell about getting her adoption fees back, threatening to sue if we didn’t refund her and she would just go to another shelter and get a dog – while she was carrying on like a fool, we were using every phone in the building to call all the other shelters in the area to warn them about this crazy twit. Over the next few weeks, we heard back from most the shelters and rescue groups we called and warned – she carried on like an ass at each place that denied her application. One place she walked into and said she didn’t want to be shown “the old lazy dogs” and only wanted to see the puppies, or dogs like a young Husky or another Boxer, she couldn’t grasp that these dogs she thought looked “cool” were all going to be high energy dogs that need a lot of attention and exercise. I can only hope she gave up on the idea of getting a dog, or that someone beat it through her skull that puppies and many grown dogs have a lot of energy that she didn’t have time time or patience to deal with.

  2. I have to surrender my puppy tomorrow to a shelter because the guy I bought her from lied to me when he said he’d take her back unconditionally if necessary. I love all animals but always wanted my own dog – I even moved to a townhouse in October just to have one. Unfortuantely, I’ve only had the pup for a week and am coming down with sudden serious health problems for the first time in my 51 years. I got her to keep me company because I’m lonely, but since I don’t have anyone to help take care of me, I don’t have anyone to ask to take the puppy either. I dread what I have to face medically, compounded by the fact that I have to give up my puppy. I think shelter people are a little too harsh and judgmental about why people turn in their animals to a shelter. Realize they are leaving them with people they know will take better care of them than they can themselves. I believe if you didn’t ask at all, or didn’t grill or belittle people, there will be less abused and abandoned animals.

    • Thank you, Robin for your excellent comment. You make a very good point that sometimes people do have to relinquish a companion animal for the best of reasons. Sometimes, I myself, can be too harsh on people who relinquished their companion animal and I accept that and if I am I apologise. I wish you the very best of luck, by the way, in respect of your health and your future and I of course the best of luck to your puppy as well.

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