I can not keep my pet!
What can I do?


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What to do when you cannot keep your pet

The American pet Association is committed to responsible pet ownership and doing so in a reality-based manner. This means we do not sugarcoat things.

 While there are legitimate times to pet needs to be given up most of the time it is a matter of convenience or inconvenience as it may be. We will first discuss the latter.

 When you take a pet into your home is a lifelong commitment. It can affect where we work where we live and even who we spend time with. Pets offer overwhelmingly positive effects to our life, including a longer and happier life. With this does come significant responsibility.

 If you are in a situation causing you to move or change your personal situation and your pet has become a burden it is your responsibility to do whatever it takes to overcome these hardships. And these hardships can be overcome. It is important to remember that when a pet does become a burden it is usually a very short period of time before the benefits are again plain to see.

 It is important to remember that giving up a pet is not always a solution. Many former pet owners experience significant guilt and find life without their companion quite unenjoyable. We have seen over and over pet owners that have given up their pets during a time of hardship only to adopt a new pet just months later. It is important to understand this and add this to your decision-making process.

This time to discuss the hardest part of this topic. The longer pet has been in your family the harder the separation will be especially if the animal is turned in to a shelter. The loss of their family can be absolutely devastating to them. Many pets do not recover and without proper care have behavioral problems that make them unadoptable. The sad reality is that most family pets that are turned in to a shelter do not leave the shelter. And do not be misled into thinking in animal turned in to a no kill shelter lives happily ever after. Shelter life can be extremely stressful and unenjoyable especially when it is a life sentence.


Life in a no kill shelter can be sad and lonely.

 Unfortunately if you do find yourself in a completely legitimate situation where it is impossible to keep up to there are not many positive solutions. The only real solution is to find a friend or family member who is in a perfect situation to be able to take over ownership of the pet.

In order of preference:

  1. Get creative, accept the hardships, muscle through it. Chances are the problem is temporary.

  2. Find a family member or close friend to take the pet, even part time until the situation changes.

  3. Find a friend of a friend or a stranger to take the pet. Be careful who you choose as your desperation could cause you to put your pet into a bad home.

  4. Place an ad in a newspaper or online. Be very descriptive of the positive points and be upfront about any negative behavior. Be careful who you choose as your desperation could cause you to put your pet into a bad home.

  5. Turn your pet in to a shelter. Realize the possible repercussions.

We wish this article could have better news but now is the time to become very creative and use all of your resources and compassion to find positive outcomes.

They count un us 100% for food, safety,
companionship and love.






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