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How to help: don't give up your pet

A large number of pets are given up each year. Some are let out on the side of the road, in the woods, in other people's back yards, others are left behind in empty houses when the owners move out, and still others are brought to local animal shelters as "give ups".

Giving up an animal should not be taken lightly; animals bond very strongly to humans, and the longer a pet has lived with a human, the stronger the bond and the greater the pain of abandonment. Adopting a pet in the first place means taking responsibility for a life -- for a pet's whole life, not just for as long as it is convenient or cute.

Why do people give up their pets? There are many excuses, but here are a few of the classics:

  • I'm moving
  • We just had a baby
  • My son/daughter/wife/cousin-in-law is suddenly allergic
  • The new dog doesn't like the old cat
  • The old dog doesn't match the new carpet
  • He's not housebroken
  • She sheds

Here are some useful articles that may help in making a decision NOT to give up a pet simply because certain life conditions change.

Can we help you keep your pet?

On moving/renting with pets:

On allergies:

On new babies and pets:

  • HRS: Bringing Baby Home
  • Denver Dumb Friends League: Children and Dogs
  • Books:
    • Lane, Marion. The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Dog Care. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1998.
    • McLennan, Bardi. Dogs & Kids. New York: Howell Book House, 1993.
  • Magazine Articles:
    • Gambino, Erica Lynn. *who*s the baby?* PetLife, June/July 1997.
    • Hodgkins, Fran. *And Baby Makes Seven.* Cat Fancy, May 1999.
    • McCarthy, Claudine. *Oh, Baby.* Cat Fancy, April 1998.
    • Moan, Ann M. *Your Pregnancy and Your Cat.* Catnip, March 1999.
    • Wexler-Mitchell, Elaine. *Pregnant Women Can Keep Cats.* Cat Fancy, May 1999.
    • Wolf, Diana. *Another Baby in the House.* Cats, March 1995.


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