Yesterday, something that has happened to me quite often occurred yet again: a dog showed up at my house. She had a collar on (no tags), but she was injured and very hungry. I put posts on Facebook in hopes of finding her owner. Sadly, I think her turning up here is no accident. I have very strong suspicions that she is part of an ongoing trend in rural areas: dumping dogs.
For those of you who don't know, "dumping" your dog refers to dropping it off at a distant, unfamiliar place in hopes that it will not return back to your home.
People dumping their dogs is not an uncommon practice in the rural area I live in. Dogs are rarely spayed/neutered, resulting in litters upon litters of unexpected puppies. Of course, everyone wants a puppy from the litter at first: they ooh and ahh over the tiny paws, the soft fur. But puppies don't stay puppies forever, and when the puppies grow up, some people suddenly aren't prepared to deal with an adult-sized dog. They say that it is too much work, they don't have enough time, etc. The excuses are endless, but almost none of them are valid. The bottom line is, if you get a puppy, be prepared to care for a dog for years to come.
Listen, I understand that things happen that would lead to you being unable to care for a pet. What I don't understand is how you can cruelly drop a dog off on the side of the road and drive away without looking back. How can you so carelessly abandon something that loves you unconditionally, that doesn't understand what it did wrong?
And what do you think will happen to the dog? Most dumped dogs don't just run straight into the arms of a new good Samaritan owner. Many dogs have no idea how to survive in the wilderness. They are, after all, housepets. Some dogs starve to death, while others are attacked by local wildlife. And, sadly, many meet their end on a busy road or highway.
So, what other options do you have if you can't take care of an animal any longer? First, check and see if any of your friends or family members would be willing to take an animal in. If not, make a post on social media to find a new, responsible owner. And if all else fails, surrender the animal to your local animal shelter. It may not be ideal, but at least at a shelter, the pet you couldn't take care of will have a chance at having a new start. Many people choose to adopt a pet instead of buying one from an expensive breeder. There may be someone out there who will love your dog more than you ever could.
All animals, including dogs, are living beings that require attention and care. If you find that you cannot provide for your pet anymore, please take measures to ensure that he or she goes to a place that will take care of him or her.
Remember: dogs are not disposable.