Top 10 Reasons Animals are returned to shelters

Let’s take a look at why animals are brought to shelters in the first place. As animals lovers, it is hard to understand how anyone could ever surrender their pet to a shelter, however, there are many reasons that play into this decision. According to Nicole Pajer blog author of Cesar’s Way, here are the top ten reasons animals are surrendered into shelters.


  1. Lack Of Training - It may be a surprise to many new dog owners, but believe it or not, most dogs DO NOT COME TRAINED! (Do you sense my overflow of sarcasm?) Lack of training is one of the top reasons a dog will be given up or sent back to the shelter. Every dog needs diligent owners who will guide them from the start. Teaching them commands and training them to be housebroken. If these things are not dealt with, they will become huge behavioral issues. All of which could have been prevented through proper training.
  2. Lifestyle Changes - such as having a new baby, getting a new job or becoming ill, are all major lifestyle changes and reasons people choose to surrender their pets to the shelter. People often become overwhelmed with these major lifestyle changes. Because of the new baby, they feel like they don’t have time for their pet. Becoming ill may be too difficult to care for themselves and their pet and getting a new job may leave no time for anything else. Although it may not be easy, surrendering their pet to the shelter often seems like the best thing for them to do. 
  3. Moving - Sometimes people are forced to move. When they do, they find the place they are going does not allow animals. Maybe their new room mate is allergic or they feel they don’t want to take their pets with them to keep their new home clean.
  4. Not Enough Time For A Pet - Our lives are busy and often many people realize this AFTER getting a pet. The idea of having a pet was great before the actually got one and realized it required care, love and attention. Families start to prioritize things before their pets. Maybe the pet was a gift for a child who now has found other things they are interested in. Many times this is the reason for surrendering the once adored pet. 
  5. Cost Of Dog Ownership - Between food, grooming, vet bills, and boarding, pets can be expensive. Many times people underestimate the cost of owning a pet especially if they are special needs or have health issues.
  6. Health Issues - Many times older pets who have injuries and other health issues require extra attention, money, time and patience. Just like humans, animals get old. However, many owners feel it is easiest to surrender the old dog to a shelter in exchange for a young energetic healthy pup. The number of senior dogs surrendered is alarming. 
  7. Biting - Dogs are often surrendered because they bit a family member. If a dog is displaying any sort of aggressive behavior, it must be dealt with immediately. Often times, people think it’s cute when their pup acts aggressive and nips, however, this can turn into a huge behavioral issue. Ignoring the signs and not properly trained, the dog most likely pays the price for the owners ignorance. 
  8. Too many animals in the home - Pets are cute and the impulse to adopt them can be uncontrollable. In some cases owning an animal becomes an addiction. Some families take pets in, not knowing the importance of spaying and neutering. Their couple of pets quickly becomes an out of control number. In other examples, a dog may be fighting with the existing cats in the home, and therefore gets sent to the shelter instead of training the two to co-exist. 
  9. Allergies - Pets are many times surrendered to shelters because of allergies. If the owner is not allergic, sometimes a significant other who moves in or new child becomes allergic and the pet is surrendered. 
  10. Strays and Rescues - Strays that are picked up off the street may be kept for a few days by a good samaritan while they look for their owner, however, it most likely will be surrendered to a local shelter in hopes it will find a home.

Please think before you get a dog. We consider dogs “FURever Family members!” Take the time to sit down and weigh out options with your family about finances, lifestyle and time before getting a dog. Dogs bring an unfathomable amount of joy into our lives, they will forever love you and are always happy to see you. However, they do require time, patience, money and training (just like a child.)

Please consider other options before surrounding a dog.We understand that our lives do change, at Good Sit, we hope that those changes do involve your dog. However, we hope that you consider every option available before surrendering your dog. 

  • If time or a new job is becoming an issue, consider hiring a dog walker who can help satisfy your dogs needs for time and exercise while you are away at work. There are many reputable companies in your area who have walkers and day sitters for hire. 
  • If moving is the issue, please consider looking into options that are pet friendly. Many places are now open to allowing dogs and cats. 
  • If behavioral issues are the problem, try finding a local trainer in your area who can help you find confidence in solving these problems. 
  • If you develop allergies to your pet, try bathing them in hypoallergenic shampoos or taking safe allergy medication. You can also consider hypoallergenic dogs breeds before getting a dog, if you already know you have allergies!

There are so many options you have before taking the last step and surrendering your dog. The best news is that there is a place that anyone can go to have crisis management and training help without leaving their home. That place is GOOD SIT!

Good Sit is the world’s first online instruction manual for dogs and their families. It is a place to go to learn everything you need to know about your new best friend, be a part of interactive training videos and quizzes and give you the confidence to become your own trainer to live harmoniously with your dog forever. 

Be the person your dog already thinks you are! 

#TreatYourDogRight and everything else will follow.

By - Ashlee Clement

Digital Marketing Specialist I Social Media