What is Pet Surrendering? What can we do to prevent it?
Pet surrendering is the act to find a new home for your pet. Sometimes pet owners face with extremely difficult circumstances which leaves them struggling to keep their pet.
Among the common causes to chose pet surrendering, we find unavoidable causes like death or physical limitation. Illnes and old age make plenty of owners physically uncapable of taking care of their pets.
Other complex situations include:
- Domestic violence
- Natural disaster
- Financial hardships
- Unadequate housing options
- Pet’s behavior and more.
While there are tons of different circumstances that you may experience as a pet owner, there are some steps you can take to ensure you don’t have to surrender your furry loved one.
If you’re stuck on what your next step is, reach out to the Animal Food Bank Volunteers and we will do our best to help.
Low income and no income people still deserve their pets. However, they are more prone to experiencing difficult situations that may result in them surrendering or giving up their pet.
Social services can afford the costs related to pet maintaning
In 2020, the average annual cost of owning a dog reaches around $3,500, while the average cost for owning a cat is over $2,000. Now, imagine your pet requires an emergency surgery that costs thousands of extra dollars on top of that.
This is a complete nightmare for anyone with a source of income, now image the picture for someone with no or low income. It’s common for pet owners to surrender their pets or re-home them because they can’t afford basic care – and it’s also common for people to euthanize their pets if they can’t pay for their expensive life-saving surgeries.
This is why emergency vetting services are so important. If we had it our way, emergency vetting would be available in all communities and to people from every demographic.
But it’s not that simple. Pet owners should reach out to organizations in their communities to see if emergency vetting is available. The Animal Food Bank is currently working to provide an emergency vetting service to help ensure pet owners can provide their pets with the vetting they need.
On the other hand, people also face emergency situations which requires them to act quickly for their pet’s sake.
If you’re fleeing domestic violence, natural disasters, or something happens to you and you’re in the hospital recovering, your pet still needs care! This is where emergency fostering for animals comes into play.
In 2020, the Animal Food Bank provided emergency fostering for pet owners six times and this is made possible with the help of RCMP. Organizations like ours are committed to sharing resources and collaborating with other organizations to ensure everyone is kept with their pets.
If you’re struggling, reach out to community organizations like ours to make sure you’ve done everything you can for the wellbeing of your pet and to ensure you don’t surrender your pet.
Moving and pet-friendly rentals
It’s no secret that pet-friendly rentals are few in British Columbia. This may stem from a variety of reasons including owners being worried that pets will damage their property – and this is a valid worry.
However, allowing pets in a home has many benefits. For some people who have struggled to find adequate housing for them and their pets, they will often pay extra per month in order to keep their pets with them at a rental that would normally restrict pets.
While this may work for some, many people cannot afford this and are often forced to surrender or rehome their pets.
For example, the BC SPCA says approximately 25 per cent of the animals surrendered to them are given up because of the lack of pet-friendly housing options.
Pet Surrendering in Numbers
This translates to approximately 1,150 pets per year. How heartbreaking is this? If you’re looking to move with your pets, be sure you’re using search engines that apply to pet-friendly rentals.
Even if a landlord is advertising no pets, don’t give up! Try offering a resume and references – showing that your pet is indeed trained, up to date on vet visits, ect.
A known fact is that people with pets stay in rentals longer than people without pets, in fact, a tenant with a pet will stay an average of 46 months compared to someone without a pet staying only 18 months.
So, by having a pet, you’re more likely to stick around as a tenant which is good news for your landlord. And for landlords worried about damage related to pets, it’s also been proven that there’s no difference between tenants with pets and tenants without them in relation to property damage.
And, aside from the security benefits and overall benefits that pets bring to their owners, landlords should understand that pets are a part of families.
For the rental problem here in B.C., it’s important that people advocate for pet owners and share information on how pets are beneficial to households because in reality, more than 50 per cent of the population owns pets.
It’s always a good idea to establish a pet policy with a potential landlord before moving to ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to your furry family members.
Finding a new home for your pet
While we can’t save every pet, we can lend a hand when possible. If you are looking to find a new home for your pet, there are some things to remember. If you can, re-homing your pet to a reputable person instead of bringing your pet to a shelter is a good idea.
To be successful, you should reach out to friends and family as well as use your social media to spread the word. You can also reach out to us at the Animal Food Bank so we can share the information with our partners and organizations.
This process can sometimes take months so make sure you give yourself enough time if possible. Another thing to remember is that people tend to adopt faster those fixed, groomed and properly vaccinated pets.
If someone you don’t know has expressed interest in taking your pet, you must use caution. Consider meeting them in a public place for coffee and ask them questions about their lifestyle to see if they’d be a good fit.
It’s important to know how many hours they will be away from the animal when at work, if they have a fenced yard, if they can afford vet visits, if they already have other pets, ect.
You are what worked for your pet so finding someone similar to you is a good idea. Re-homing your pet is a very emotional and difficult thing to do, so if you wish to stay in touch with the new owner that’s okay! Just make sure you make this clear.
If you’ve tried everything to rehome your pet but nothing has worked, bring them to an open-admission organization, shelter or rescue. There are resources available and people who want to give your pet the best outcome.