Do you know anyone who is surrendering their pet?

Pounds and shelters report increasing numbers of people surrendering their pets . Many think they are doing the right thing.

What they are often not told is that their pet stands a good chance of being euthenased, and not rehomed. Just look at the numbers. Some are easy to rehome, some are not. If it’s a cat, its chances drop markedly. If it’s old, or “ugly” its chances drop markedly. If the pound doesn’t have an effective volunteer and rescue group working alongside it – as many don’t – its chances drop markedly. Some pounds are good at explaining this to the owner, some are not……

Underdog’s article says:

“So why do these animals end up in the pound? What can we do to reverse this? If you are considering surrendering your pet to a pound or shelter- STOP. There may be avenues you have not yet explored.

Many of the dogs currently on death row were much loved family pets at some point in their life. Despite the fact that the dogs may be well behaved, wonderful companions many do not make it out of the pound or shelter alive……..” Read the rest here….

We asked Underdog Training to produce this useful short information sheet as a resource you can print off and give to anyone you know thinking of surrendering their pet. Go here to download the article..

DRP comment: we hope this is a useful resource for pound staff, pound volunteers and anyone who knows a person or family who feel they need to give up their animal. It won’t solve every situation, but you never know.

What situations have you come across?

Behavioural assessment in Australian animal shelters

Thousands of dogs are relinquished to Australian animal shelters each year. Prior to being made available for adoption, dogs undergo a behavioural assessment to determine their suitability as companions. Dogs that pass the assessment are made available for adoption, whereas those that fail are usually euthanased. This is potentially problematic for several reasons; not only do current protocols used to assess adoption suitability lack standardisation in their content and methodology, very few have been presented in the peer reviewed literature.

This is an extract from a paper presented at last year’s National Desexing Network summit to end pet overpopulation.

How would your own dog react in an unfamiliar and extremely stressful situation to a multitude of strange objects, noise and activities, other dogs and people? Would your dog grab and shake a dolly or stuffed toy? If so your dog would most likely be on the long list to be destroyed.

This paper reports that two thirds (77%) of assessment staff who responded to the survey reported that they had received training in the assessment of shelter dogs whereas one third (33%) reported that they had not received training. BUT the most common form of training was ‘on the job’ training (59%) followed by ‘attended a seminar/completed a course’ (33%).

So in a nutshell, there is no standard and properly researched and reported method for a behavioural assessment and the majority of those that carry out the assessment have not had any proper formal training.

Yet the life of each animal they assess rests in their hands….This is just not good enough.