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Q: why do shelters treat people who surrender their pets like criminals?

February 18, 2009 | By Rascalsmommy123 | 31 answers | Expired: 2094 days ago

why do shelters treat people who surrender their pets like criminals?

I know that there are bad people out there. People that mistreat their pets or treat them like property. But there are some that think of their pets as their children. I lost my home. I couldn't take my babies with me. I did the responsible thing and surrendered them to the animal shelter. But they refuse to let me inquire as to their status. Adopted? Put to sleep? I just want to know what happened to my kids.

Readers' Answers (31)

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rebecca b.
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Feb 22, 2009

When you signed your pets over to the shelter you lost all control of them. I know it's hard but if the shelter is kept busy bringing previous owners up on the condition of their pets that they have surrendered they wouldn't be able to take care of the ones they have waiting for adoption. There is no promise when you bring a pet in and surrender it but every effort is made to find it a loving home unless it is sick or too old to be adopted. Some shelters won't take animals that are older than 5 for that reason. We, as an animal control shelter, have to take them in no matter their age or condition. We do not, however, take owned dogs and all of the pets we take in have been found abandoned or abused.

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Cindy J.
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Feb 21, 2009

Shelters see all kinds of people from all different walks of life who surrender their pets for many, many different reasons. How they react to those who surrender their pets depends on the shelter and the level of customer service at that shelter. Whether they can answer your questions (e.g., how are they doing? what happened to them?) may also depend on policies they may had to put in place because of people very much less well-intentioned than you. Our current economic condition will hopefully force shelters that don't treat those who suffer because of home loss well to re-think they way they treat those who have to surrender their pets for reasons beyond their control.

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Alexx W.
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Feb 21, 2009

I am sorry you had to part with your animals. As someone who works at a shelter, we do hear a lot of excuses but they are also many valid reasons. You should be able to check on the status, but keep in mind that the reply you get many not be the one you are looking for. We let people know when they surrender they can check up on their previous animals, but we will tell them the truth so sometimes it is better to assume they have been adopted.

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Sherida a.
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Feb 20, 2009

I don't know why they wouldn't tell, because the mid ohio valley humane shelter of marietta ohio has always been good to me and even helped me find a home for my dalmation that was jealous of my other dogs. you should has reported them to the board of directors. you did the right thing. spottedmama (sherida from ohio)

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Debra B.
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Feb 19, 2009

I think it depends on who is working. I had to give up my cat, back to the CMHS in Columbia Missouri and I actually got her from there, they didn't treat me bad. I told them that I couldn't take care of her anymore, that I lost my job and it wasn't fair to her, and they took her w/o treating me badly.

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Moonvine
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Feb 19, 2009

They shouldn't treat people like that. Good customer service should be part and parcel of any good shelter. I'm sorry you were treated that way.

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Bellacat3
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Feb 19, 2009

When you give up your pets, you also relinquish the right to know what happens to them. A lot of times it isn't pretty and that is why the shelter won't tell you. Happy endings for relinquished pets are few and far between. If you relinquished your pets to an animal care and control agency, they probably euthanized them that same night.

I am thankful that when I did have to give up my cat, I worked at the shelter and helped find her a good home. I still think about her now and then but it helps to know that she is in a good place. Plus I have the reassurance that if her new owner couldn't care for her, she would come right back to the shelter that adopted her out.

I agree with the posting about shelter workers hearing nothing but excuses all day long. I personally know a pair of cats that were relinquished twice due to allergies. The first time it was probably true but definitely not the second time as they had the cats for nearly a year. Shelter workers have to focus on the needs of the animals in their care. Your needs don't count for much when animals are grieving the loss of their familiar routine and family.

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Clara
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Feb 19, 2009

My heart goes out to you, that must have been amazingly difficult! I also commend you for doing the responsible thing & I hope someone at the shelter gives you a break and tells you what happened to your babies.

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Jason  M.
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Feb 19, 2009

I'm sorry this happened to you/your pets, that must be heartbreaking. I can say as a volunteer at a shelter, we do get pretty burned out on people's excuses, because there are so many, and so many times, the bottom line is, the pet is just the first thing to go. And then we have to see what happens to that pet when those people walk away. There are so many more "bad guys" than "good guys" leaving animals at shelters, it makes people that work/volunteer there jaded after a time.
I guess for readers of this question, it's a good thing to learn from - if you have to surrender your pets, do ask what the policy is on keeping owners informed.

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Brooke D.
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Feb 19, 2009

sorry you lost your babies. i would die if that happened to me

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