January can be a sad month in shelters throughout the country.
In January, shelters and rescues will see an influx of pets that were given as "gifts" during the holiday season. There are lots of reasons people provide when surrendering a pet to a shelter or rescue:
More work than they had anticipated
Didn't want a pet in the first place
Doesn't get along with their other pets
Illness or medication issues
Of these reasons, two of the most common reasons for surrendering are 1. Behavior Issues and 2. Economic Issues. Let's explore these further.
Lots of people surrender pets to the shelter because of normal behavior issues such as barking, chewing, chasing, jumping and not being housebroken. These are issues all pet owners see and are easily correctable with just a little bit of will-power and patience. For advice on correcting behavior issues check out this article from Martha Stewart, Easy Fixes Common Dog Behavior Problems. Also, I highly recommend listening to the podcast The Dog Show with Nick and Joe. These guys run Off-Leash K9, which is a dog training program offered throughout the U.S. and the world. These guys cover lots of topics about dogs and offer advice for pet owners.
Other people are forced to surrender pets because of an economic struggle. The good news is there are resources for pet owners who wish to keep their pets, but need some extra help. For example, the Alabama SPCA offers assistance to pet owners who find themselves in a pinch. Check out the helpful program they offer here. Additionally, there are lost of resources for pet owners who find out their pet needs expensive medical care and they cannot afford it. The most expansive and specific list of resources for pet parents who need help that I could find can be found here.
If the reason for surrendering is something that you can live with for a little while, re-homing is a great option for families who do not need to surrender a pet immediately. This will give you the ability to interview and meet potential adopters and explain your situation and why you need to re-home. This can be both good for you and the pet. There are lots of sites that offer assistance in re-homing pets, but the best place to start is your own circle. Do you have friends, family, neighbors, associates or co-workers who are looking for a best friend? Post your pet on your social media and see if you get any interested people. Someone may just be looking for your personality dog and that time, you never know. If there is no luck there, Wagaroo and Petco Foundation/Adoptapet offer re-homing assistance to get the pet out there and to the world for their life change.
Surrendering a let should never be a decision taken lightly and ubnforeunately many people do have to re-home so please give a special shout out to your local shelters this time of year and drop off some food, old towels, cleaning supplies or some old fashioned elbow grease to help them out.
See you on the wild side,