Every year in Canada, about a quarter-million dogs and cats end up in animal shelters. One-fifth of the dogs and about half of the cats are put to sleep, even though up to 40% of those put down are perfectly healthy. Of course, no shelter wants to euthanize animals, but the sad truth is that many are forced to when they run out of space and other resources, or for health or behavioural reasons.
What’s most tragic is that many of these animals did at one point have a home but, for various reasons, their owners no longer wanted them. Usually the reasons have more to do with the owner than the pet. The owner had no idea how much time and effort a pet required, or realized the financial commitment was too much, or had a change in living arrangements so that having a pet was no longer possible.
Surrendering these animals to shelters could have been avoided in most cases if the owners had thought more carefully about the decision to get a pet in the first place.
Here are the top 5 reasons people give for surrendering their dogs to shelters:
- Unable to afford
- Change in situation (new baby, new partner, split with partner)
- Lack of time to train/care for pet
As you embark on your journey to find your canine companion, please be sure you can promise yourself, for your sake and for your dog's, that you won’t be dropping your new best friend off at the animal shelter in a few months or a few years because of problems you could have easily predicted.