Why won't you take my dog?
He's only 7 and we've had him since he was a puppy. He's a great dog!
Our rescue loves dogs of all ages and we have personally adopted several of the seniors and housed them lovingly until death, but that is the commitment you are asking of a rescue when you relinquish a senior dog.
When you adopted or bought your dog you committed to a lifetime. You most likely enjoyed the cute fluffy stage and the young gorgeous stage, but then, for whatever reason, you now are giving up an elderly animal. You are in turn asking complete strangers to now open their home to your now unwanted dog. Your dog has most likely, only known and loved you all of its life and is now expected to adjust to a new life.
Our primary problem with accepting senior dogs is the availability of space and no demand. This means the dogs stay in rescue for prolonged lengths of time or until their death. This really isn't the retirement plan they looked forward to. Also, this means that several young, healthy dogs will be put to sleep in that time because the space is taken in rescue.
If there are homes looking for seniors or rescues specializing in seniors we do our best to match the dogs up. However, the likelihood is small. It is one of the hardest things we have to deal with because it isn't the dog's fault, only the sudden loss of his/her home and beloved owner.
The best solution is for the owner to retain their commitment to their animal, the next best is to already have a family member or friend that could help in times of an emergency. Unfortunately, for many dogs, euthanasia is a kinder alternative to being dumped in a pound or shelter to only be put to sleep due to age at the hands of a stranger after spending days or weeks in a cold concrete and chain link cell.
We are absolutely floored by phone calls from persons who say" I have a puppy and a 10 year old dog, they don't get along. I'd like to give up the 10 year old". We understand tragic human situations, such as admission to a nursing home, etc... and we certainly do not want to make those persons feel guilty about calling rescue for help. However, for all the other circumstances that are the majority, we really would like them to think very hard about what they are doing.
If the dog is elderly and biting due to arthritic pain, urinating in the house due to incontinence, or needs thousands of dollars of veterinary care due to age, if you can't take care of your dog anymore and do not want to; what makes you think complete strangers want to adopt those troubles? Really think about what is in the best interest of the dog. It is your last final kindness for a lifetime of unconditional love.