There is a disturbing national trend of dog parents surrendering their senior dogs just to purchase a puppy instead. It’s a horrible reality that many shelters have been noticing, especially around the holidays. However, older dogs often need familiarity and comfort the most. So, many people are wondering how any dog parent could do something so horrible.
It’s a difficult situation for any dog lover to understand, but Pam Peebles, the executive director of the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center explains that this is sadly a reality.
“It is something that we unfortunately see. The number of aged dogs coming into shelters is shockingly high,” Peebles said.
Unfortunately, Peebles thinks that the reason so many humans surrender their older dogs is because they’re ashamed of the condition their dog is in.
“We think that maybe as dogs age and the owner recognizes they’re a little lame or have dental disease or just isn’t right, the threat of the cost, expense of a veterinarian is something they can’t handle or have never had a veterinary relationship, so they’re afraid of reaching out and being judged after all these years,” Peebles said.
They also fear they won’t be able to handle the veterinary bills, so they just assume getting a puppy will be cheaper. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Puppies are actually much pricier than many families realize.
“Whether they’re free or not, you still have the expense of veterinary visits and booster vaccinations. They often need a series of three to four vaccinations and neutering,” said Peebles. “There’s so many expenses that come with a new animal, and plus all that stuff, you have to get all the new stuff. The cost of taking care of the older dog is, arguably, not that much more expensive.”
So, if someone can’t afford a senior dog, then they should not have a puppy either. Dogs take a lot of time and money to properly care for, so if someone is not responsible enough to support their dog in their old ages, then they should not have a dog at all. Giving up a senior dog for a puppy is an unforgivable action.
Adopt a Senior Dog!
Puppies are a handful as well as a major commitment. Many families become overwhelmed with training, teething, and puppy visits when there are so many amazing senior dogs in shelters. Many have already undergone extensive training and are just waiting to move right in and adjust to your lifestyle.
So, instead of surprising your family with a puppy, prepare your home for a senior dog instead. Seniors make such great companions, but they are often overlooked at the shelter. People need to learn that a dog is a lifelong commitment, not just a fun holiday gift. Hopefully with more families adopting senior dogs, less will find themselves surrendered for puppies.