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Dog Adoption: Moral Dilemma

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  • #846964 Reply

    So I have been wanting to rescue a dog for a long time now and decided to go to this mega adoption event for two kill shelters to save a life. I found the perfect dog and was told he was technically on a shelter hold because he had a microchip and the original owners were contacted. They told the shelter they would be in the next day and never came. The adoption event was 4 days after the initial call. I was officially the owner on day 5. Day 6 the previous owner came into the shelter looking for the dog. They said they did not come sooner because they did not have the funds to get him back (apparently it costs 130 to get him back from the shelter). They never told the shelter this issue and apparently were aware of the timeline they had and the possibility of him being adopted. I am stuck because part of me would be heartbroken if I did not get my dog back but the other part of me is concerned with their lack of urgency. Apparently no kids were involved and the two people who came in were not very emotional. He is healthy and an absolute sweetheart and I cry thinking of giving him up. What do I do…

    #846968 Reply

    Ooh that’s really tough. If $130 was a problem for them, how do they regularly feed and care for a dog? Vet bills are brutal. On the other hand, if the dog has a decent home (and if he came to you happy and healthy, he probably does), you could save another life by adopting again. Have you talked to the shelter for their recommendation? I wonder how often they see this kind of thing. If they won’t talk openly, see if you can find someone else who works in an animal shelter (maybe someone on here??) for some insight.

    #846976 Reply

    Yeah, my hot take is that if the $130 was a problem, the dog would not be likely to get medical care he needs (maybe not even routine visits) and preventive meds like flea, tick, heart worm. Vet bills are outrageous.

    And they didn’t come to the shelter distraught and explain the situation and ask for a couple more days and for the dog to please not be adopted.

    Sounds like it may be best for the dog to have a new home.

    #846978 Reply

    Just gonna say it again because why not. For regular routine vet visits, I easily pay $200.

    My dog has many times eaten something off the ground real quick and gotten a bad enough gastro issue that I had to bring him in to get checked and given fluids.

    When he was only 6 or 7, he developed immune-mediated arthritis which I paid a few grand to even figure out what it was. I thought he was dying, he didn’t want to get out of bed, until we found the only thing that works – Prednisone, which is a steroid and comes with its own issues. If a dog is on steroids long-term, they need to keep checking his internal situation to make sure he’s not getting liver disease or something. That’s $$

    Now this year he got diabetes. It’s manageable but it’s expensive. Insulin is $60 a month, and he’s a little dog. Needles are expensive. Getting his glucose numbers checked routinely at the vet for $200 a pop because we can’t get blood from a vein in his ear to do the check ourselves.

    These are serious conditions that require ongoing maintenance that costs a lot of money. It’s money I’d a lot rather save. And if I didn’t have it, I’d be running up credit cards, or not treating him, and he’d die. Or deciding to cut his life short with euthanasia even though he can still enjoy life with the right care.

    Even young dogs can have accidents or get sick. I’m not sure how much people really know or think about the cost of having a dog.

    #846981 Reply

    Keep the dog, they didnt come get the dog righ away which means they do not care much for it. If my dog went missing and I found out it was at shelter, I would have taken the day off work and used my credit card or borrowed money to get my little dog child back home. I believe this dog is actually in a better home and will be loved and live happily ever after with you. Please keep him and cherish him with love and joy.

    #846989 Reply

    I think the right thing to do is to give the dog back. We can’t know the circumstances around why the owners didn’t have the money right away or why they didn’t come in on the day they said they did. There might be a valid reason. They might normally have money but are temporarily short on funds due to a sudden job loss or large unexpected expense. I work at a vet clinic and see this happen sometimes even with the best client who can normally pay for the best care, up front. These owners might have been busy the last few days with a family or medical emergency that they didn’t feel comfortable sharing with the shelter. The fact that they showed up means they do care about their dog.

    Personally I try to believe the best of people (until they prove me otherwise), so I wouldn’t make assumptions about what kind of care the dog is getting in their hands, unless there’s visible signs of neglect. I’d give the dog back to them and go back and look at one of the ones that doesn’t have an owner asking for it back. Think about it – you would save two lives instead of just one.

    #846990 Reply

    I wouldn’t make assumptions about the money thing. A person can be a good owner and not have $130 on hand at all times. Maybe it was right before pay day or maybe they’d just had an emergency that took their savings or maybe they had another large cost they knew they needed to pay for soon. I would be concerned about how they’d handle a pet emergency, but I think it’s silly to suggest you can’t buy food for your dog if you are not able to produce $130 immediately. You can budget for supplies and health care for a pet in a different way than you can $130 to get your dog back.

    But I guess I’m curious. Did the shelter tell them the dog would be at an adoption event and what date? What is the shelter saying to you? Are they just saying “it’s your call” or are they encouraging you to bring the dog in?

    #846992 Reply

    I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about emergencies like your dog swallows something that blocks his intestine. If you can’t come up with $130 to get your dog (that you let wander off, btw) out of the pound, you can’t come up with money to save his life. Sorry, call me an elitist on this one, but nah.

    Also, the rules and time limit exist for good reasons. If you want an exception, come down to the shelter and explain the situation, give a deposit, ask for an extension.

    #846993 Reply

    It’s weird to me that they had this dog at an adoption event, even though they were in contact with the owners. I would think they’d keep the dog on hold at the shelter? It’s a weird position to put you in.

    I would let the original owners have the dog. It’s really too bad it happened this way, but you can find another perfect dog to adopt. Insist on all the fees being refunded or transferred to another.

    #846997 Reply

    I’m with anonymousse- it’s bad form for the shelter to have this dog at an adoption event when it technically was on a hold. The shelter where I got my dog from doesn’t let people see dogs that are on hold to avoid this situation.

    There’s a lot of assumptions here that are don’t take into account person situations, especially those that people with less socioeconomic freedom may encounter. 1) That the owners not having $130 right away and showing up to the pound after the time period means they’re bad owners and couldn’t afford the dog’s expenses. 2) That the dog ended up in the pound because the owners let it wander away. 3) That people can just take the day off to go get their dog back from the shelter….

    LW, I’d give the dog back. Think about how much you are hurting from having this guy for just a few days…now imagine the pain the owners must be in considering they’ve had him/her for longer. There are plenty of shelter dogs who don’t have families looking for them that would love your love.

    #847007 Reply

    Keep the dog. The previous owners are at best ambivalent and lazy about their dog.

    They did not even check the shelters when the dog was lost, they were called only due to the microchip.

    They did not turn up the next day as they promised, did not inform the shelter that they could be delayed and were aware the dog could be adopted out.

    It is clear they are not that attached to the dog.

    #847008 Reply

    I’d keep the dog. They said they would come in to the shelter and get it but then didn’t show. If they wanted their dog very much they would have called and said that they couldn’t make it as expected and please keep the dog for them and then say when they thought they could make it. Since they didn’t show the dog appears to be abandoned even though an owner was notified and unless this shelter has frequent adoption events this was the dogs chance to be chosen because this was a kill shelter. If you wanted your dog you would stay in touch and not assume that the shelter would keep it with no word from you. If I found that my pet was in a kill shelter I would at the very least be on the phone making sure they knew that I wanted the pet and when I would be there to get it. I wouldn’t let it appear to be abandoned. I’m sure the shelter deals with this kind of thing where someone just doesn’t show to get their pet. We get this kind of thing at the library where a person is insistent that they want something and they want it held for them and then they never show up for it and it sits for ten days and then goes back to wherever it belongs. I don’t know why shelters wouldn’t see the same kind of thing. When you know the timeline for showing up and about the adoption event and take no action you are passively giving up your dog. It’s like they waited until after the adoption event to go in and if he hadn’t been adopted then they would take him home. I think he’s where he belongs.

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