You hear a lot of things when you work in rescue. Some of those things warm your heart, make you believe in people again. Most of those things, though, frustrate the hell out you. Make you want to tear your heart out by the roots and scream, "What is wrong with you?!?!" at the unsuspecting person across the counter. (I just had a flashback of working in retail. That's a special kind of frustration all its own!)
You hear things like, "I adopted this dog from you last year, but I need to bring her back. We're expecting a baby." And, "My cat keeps peeing outside of her litter box, so I want to surrender her to the shelter." Or what about, "We're moving to a place that doesn't allow pets"? Or, my personal favorite, "We just don't have time for him anymore."
Now. Guys. I understand that sometimes it's unavoidable. Sometimes your (my) husband is allergic and asthmatic, and you (I) have to choose between keeping your (my) cat/dog or keeping your (my) husband alive. (Hardest choice I ever made!) And sometimes your pet bites your child. And, yes, sometimes it is the right decision for your pet to have another home.
But many times there is a solution. If you must move, only look at places that will allow your beloved pet! If you are expecting a child, do your research - your dog will probably adjust to the new addition just fine. There are places that will help you with low-cost veterinary care and free pet food if you are short on money. There are also sitters who will care for and play with your pet while you are at work if you're short on time.
Giving your pet up to a shelter should be the last resort. (It also needs to be said that you should never, ever post your pet on Craigslist. Or, honestly, those Facebook "giveaway" pages. Just don't do it.)
(Also, at least act sad or regretful when you're surrendering what is basically your family member to a shelter. Just a little bit. Please? It's one thing to give up your cat if you tell it goodbye with tears in your eyes. It's completely another if you surrender your Border Collie puppy for chewing things in your house, and then you walk out the door with a smile and arms up, touchdown-style, saying "Free at last!") (Did that sound like an oddly specific example? That's because it is an actual thing that I experienced. UGH.)
When it comes right down to it, when is it okay to give up your pet? Well...when you feel you have no other choice. When it breaks your heart to do it. I guess it all depends on personal circumstance.
But I want to hear what you think? When do you think it is okay to give up your pet? I would love some discussion in the comments! I would also love to know the "excuse" that most frustrates you?