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Dog Owners Hide The Truth From Shelters About Their Pets' Behavioral Problems

Many dog owners who relinquish their pets to animal shelters are not entirely honest about their dogs' behavioral problems probably for fear that their pets will be put to sleep, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania and University of California veterinary schools.

Full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060130151722.htm
 

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Jean,

thanks for posting. I disgaree with the article 100 percent based on my experience with rescue dogs.

Most folks who dump their dogs, make the pets sound far worse then they really are. Why, because it alleviates the guilty conscience for dumping their pet at a shelter.

My last rescue, whom I have now adopted as a forever dog, was described as aggressive and biter. This female GSD is shy, but has never growled nor showed any aggression toward other dogs or family members.
 

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i don't know, the people who had teagan before she was brought to the shelter did not mention her aggression issues.....which she must have had with them, as they'd muzzle trained her (how handy for me).

nor did they mention her HD/bone chip in her left hip, so to be fair, they either hadn't noticed it, or they didn't want to tell them.
 

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I absolutely believe owners may NOT BE TRUTHFUL .They hate to admit they really do not want this dog (so they are moving to a place where they can't have them)OR they truly care for dog but just through life happenings or depression-change of living/job circumstance need to give dog up-many times these people are so overcome with guilt that they can NOT realize dog will be euthed if truth told!(these people just were not ABLE to do right by the dog but may still care)
 

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One of the first things I was told years ago when I started volunteering with a rescue was that owners lie. The president of the rescue had seen it time and time again, so I'm not at all surprised that shelters see the same. A rescue friend who worked at a shelter told me her shelter didn't even ask owners why they were giving up the pet because they knew the answer was most likely not true.

How many times do we hear that people are moving and they can't keep the pet. If thats true 50% of the time, I'm surprised. They are also not going to admit they can't control their dog or that their cat pees outside the litterbox. That would be failure.
 

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A dog-friend of mine pulled a large dog (not a GSD) and he was a sweet mellow fellow. She had him about two weeks and she thought they were bonding very nicely. She fell asleep on the sofa one afternoon and the next thing she knew she had a dog standing on her attacking her face.

This happened years ago and she has permanent scarring to her face but thank God she had no damage to her eyes. After the fact the previous owner admitted that the dog was turned in to the shelter because out of the blue he would start growling and trying to bite family members. They loved their dog and didn't want it put down so they didn't say anything. If they loved their dog they would have taken it to the vet and after checking some basic health issues, then if needed stayed with him while he was released from his personal demons. But as she said, she is very grateful that it was she that took the dog and not a family with small children.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is horrifying. I remember the first night I had Kramer and kept thinking GAHD, I hope he's not the dog Mr. Goodbar (or whatever that creepy crazy movie was). It really can happen-that is so terribly sad.

His intake card had one word: Moving. So sins of omission got him to me-I am forever grateful-but wouldn't have wanted to have had kids, different expectations because he/they would have suffered greatly.
 

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ILGHAUS, Yikes! I totally agree that in that case the owners did exactly what was described in the article and for the described reasons - horribly selfish and destructive.

Overall though I'm going to agree with Timber1. I think it's an interesting article but I disagree with their conclusions and interpretation. I find that for most people surrendering a pet to the shelter their biggest priority is finding a reason that exonerates them. Favorites seem to be moving and allergies but I see a lot of "impossible to train" "too wild" and things that condemn the breed e.g. "When we adopted him we were told he was a Spaniel mix but we've since been told by our vet that he's part Border Collie so we don't want him because he's too hyper" or "we found out he's a pitbull and we have children so we have to get rid of him."


I also think that there's a huge different between people who are surrendering their dogs to a shelter and those that are having them treated at a vet hospital. A "problem" dog is very much in the eye of the beholder - the shelter dumpees are beholding problem dogs,
committed owners see "quirkiness"!
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Jean,

having served as foster for only three dogs, I am hardly an expert. But every single dog was shy and a bit fearful, but never aggressive nor mean.

On my third try, I asked my rescue group to give me a bit more challenging dog, so they sent me a dog labelled as mean and a biter by the shelter. This dog does not even chew hard on a hot dog.

As an aside her name is Paris (hate it), and she will be with my family forever; yes I have adopted her.

Nonetheless, I do not disagree with the folks that have said they get a vicious dog. However, if that ever happens to me, I hope I have an ability to recognize it before anything serious happens.
 

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sighhhhhh

Some yrs back, my (then)6yo daughter took in a lovely stray, a young female that looked remarkably like a Briard!!!! And what a sweetie, BUT we had to try to find the owner before I'd agree to let her keep it.

A woman claimed the dog explaining they'd adopted her from the shelter for her 5yo son. That naughty boy wouldn't spend enough time in the kennel with Angel so the bad-bad puppy dog would get bored & continually escape out that hole in her kennel!!!!!

I suggested they bring Angel inside & he'd spend more time with her. I also suggested they take care of the dog together, given her son's very young age. OhNooooo. He agreed to take care of the dog if they let him get one & they didn't want to teach him to duck responsibility. Angel (that naughty puppy!) couldn't come inside b/c she shed looong hairs all over the place. ICK!

This woman, who honestly did not appear brain dead, actually blamed a 5yo child & a puppy for the situation (which included escaping out of an unrepaired hole & SHEDDING!). Naturally, she didn't want to part with Angel b/c her son loved her so & he really should live up to his responsibilities...

I checked back with her a few months later & Angel had disappeared for good though she was certain such a sweet loveable girl found a nice home. There wasn't any point to losing my temper, so I held onto it(with GREAT difficulty), but this fool had no idea whether that poor dog found a nice home or was sold to a research lab, grabbed up to bait fighting dogs, caught in a trap or run over.

Yeah...Irresponsible owners lie. Sometimes to place an otherwise impossible animal...Other times to give themselves credible(to them) excuses for dumping their 'beloved' pets.

My heart goes out to those very rare owners that truly had no choice but to give up their animals. My Spanky is one such. Her owner very suddenly & unexpectedly died.
 

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I wonder how many people have to give up their dogs due to foreclosure now? They may be embarrassed and say have to move, etc? It's hard all over! I feel so bad for the older dogs/special needs that get owner surrendered, and have a hard time in the shelter!
 
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