Common Reasons Why Dogs Are Abandoned

No potential owner of a canine companion starts out their journey assuming that they’ll be that person who abandons their dog when things get rough. In fact, most owners have only the best of intentions in mind. The dog will make a great companion, whether for themselves or the young children in the household. Your new puppy will teach all members of the family responsibility and will make an excellent addition to your domestic nucleus. Unfortunately, these ideals often don’t materialize in real life, and the reality is nearly 4 million dogs are abandoned per year. While the reality of the situation is often a complicated mix of facts, here are a few of the most common reasons dogs are abandoned.

Animals Can Fend for Themselves
One of the most common instigators for a dog, or any kind of domestic pet, abandonment is a change in living circumstances. This is especially the case in instances of foreclosure. Pet owners may believe there is no viable way to take their dog with them when moving out of their home and into a rental property. Humans may rely on the mistaken belief that animals can fend for themselves when these situations arise, and will often abandon them on the streets to hunt and forage for food and shelter. The reality is that dogs were long ago domesticated, causing their hunter instincts to quiet and inhibiting their ability to provide for themselves.

They are Better off in a Shelter

Another common, but mistaken, belief that owners have when abandoning their dogs is that they will be better off in a shelter or with a rescue organization. While there are a number of quality organizations dedicated to providing food, shelter and new permanent homes for dogs, the demand on these groups far exceeds the available resources. With an increasing number of dogs in need of housing and veterinary care, shelters often struggle to find people willing to donate the necessary time and money required to care for abandoned pets. The unfortunate result is that many dogs are euthanized before they can be adopted into new, loving homes. While many owners think there dogs are better off in a shelter or foster, this is far from the reality.

I Have No Other Options
Even if dog owners realize the pitfalls that await their dog if they choose to abandon or leave them behind, many will often mistakenly believe there are no resources available to help them or their four-legged family member in their time of need. Home owners that are forced out of their residence due to foreclosure are some of the most complicated examples of this situation. Forced to find new arrangements in housing and already facing financial difficulties due to inabilities to make mortgage payments, many dog owners overlook some of the most common available resources when it comes to keeping Fido with their human family.

In reality, there are a variety of resources available to those considering abandoning their beloved dog or other family pet. Local organizations will often offer short and long term boarding to those needing a temporary home for their dog, while the family relocates. Veterinary care and vouchers for free or discounted food are also typically available through various community programs or at your local shelter. Friends and family may also be willing to help, and crowdfunding sites can be an easy, convenient method for allowing those interested to donate to the cause.

In summary, abandonment of the family dog is a complex problem, and rarely a black and white scenario. Emotions, stress and financial concerns run high, often making it difficult for owners to determine the right course of action. With help from the community, family, friends and those interested in animal well-being, we can all work together to come up with viable solutions and offer education to help end pet abandonment.


Simon Campbell
Simon Campbell has spent over 15 years in all the various facets having to do with real estate including sales, purchases, investment and research.
Simon has changed directions and is now sharing his knowledge and experience with others to avoid foreclosure. For more details, check his website or facebook

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Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl Wilson created Why We Wag in 2012 as her result of her lifelong love of dogs. After 22 years in the Educational sector, Cheryl utilizes her expertise as an award winning educator, to educate dog lovers, along with offering supplies that support a healthy, meaningful relationship with canines. Residing in Utah, Cheryl is celebrating her 5th generation with dogs and now her first generation of grand-dogs.