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Real Life Idiotic Reasons People Have Abandoned Their Dogs

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There are a few unavoidable and unfortunate circumstances that result in people having no choice but to rehome or surrender their dogs.

Sadly, a vast majority of excuses are shameful, ridiculous, or downright idiotic.

A dog is a part of the family, to be loved and cherished every day of his or her life. A dog is not a toy to be played with a few times and then tossed when it’s not fresh and new anymore.

These are just a few of the ridiculous real-life reasons people have abandoned their dogs.

“I don’t like the way he looks at me.”
A woman surrendered her 4-month old Pit Bull puppy to a shelter because she felt uncomfortable with the way he was staring at her. He had never growled, bitten, or otherwise shown any signs of aggression.

“He sheds too much.”
When a Golden Retriever mix was surendered due to his excessive shedding, shelter workers found that he was covered in scars and nicks from being constantly shaved. The dog was, as a result, very frightened of clippers and feared being groomed.

“The dog doesn’t match the new carpeting.”
A family recarpeted their home and then dumped their dog because the fur she was shedding stood out too much against the color of the carpet.

“He’s old and no fun anymore. I want a puppy instead.”
When a senior dog was left at a shelter, his previous owners explained that the dog was too old and too slow. They wanted to trade him in for a newer, younger model.

“She keeps peeing in the house and not on the puppy pads.”
This dog did not have any medical issues that caused her to urinate indoors. She simply lacked training. Her owner assumed that all she needed to do was put down a puppy pad and the dog would never have another accident again and would magically begin to “go” outdoors. Within just a few weeks at her new home, with proper training she was going potty outdoors.

“He won’t stay out of the trash.”
A majority of owner surrender cases are behavioral, and most of those due to lack of training. This dog owner didn’t bother to both train his dog, or to put the trash where he couldn’t reach it.

“Her hair keeps getting knotted and I can’t afford to go to the groomer every week.”
When this family went looking for a new puppy, they picked the adorable Pomeranian puppy at their local pet store. They chose the dog based solely on her looks, not once taking the time to learn more about her breed and what health, lifestyle, and grooming requirements would need to be met.

“He’s sick and I can’t afford to go to the vet.”
A sick little Lab-mix was surrendered to the shelter where he was treated and quickly recovered. His treatment would have been an inexpensive veterinary visit and a round of antibiotics, many of which are filled for free at certain pharmacies. His owner had never bothered to even make a phone call and did not have a primary veterinarian. It’s not known whether he’d ever received any vaccinations.

“Now that he’s not a puppy, he’s not as cute.”
This dog was only about a year old when he was surrendered. His owners had kept him through the adorable puppy stage and when he began to look like an adult dog, dumped him.

“My new boyfriend doesn’t like him.”
Wonder if the new boyfriend is as loyal, loving, and committed to her as her dog was before she abandoned him.

“I don’t want a gay dog.”
A man surrendered his Bulldog mix because, as he claimed, the dog was gay and wouldn’t stop humping other male dogs. Upon surrender, he requested the dog be euthanized. The shelter did not euthanize the dog and he was placed in a loving home with a human that understands dog behavior.

The list of absurd excuses can go on forever and will continue to grow until people realize that dogs are a lifetime commitment.

What are some of the most idiotic excuses you’ve heard for dumping a dog?

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. tt

    Feb 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    that is so wrong I will kill who ever hurts dogs or other animals

  2. Pingback: Why Do People Abandon Dogs? Find Out 11 Foolish Reasons -

  3. Claire

    Apr 1, 2016 at 11:11 am

    My dachshund beagle pug mix spent 2 months at a kill shelter after being dropped off by her owner. The reason given was that she could not be housebroken. I took her home thinking we had some work to do. I was amazed to find out she was totally housebroken and crate trained. The shelter counselor told me to give her a new name since she was not responding to her name. I’m guessing the owner never even said what her name was when she was surrendered and the shelter made up a name for her which she never related to. She has turned out to be the most wonderful dog I could have adopted. Her foster mom told me that people come up with lame excuses just to make themselves feel better about abandoning their dog.

  4. Julie

    Mar 31, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I work for a great Dane rescue. On more that one occasion we have taken in dogs because the owners say ” I didn’t realize how big they really get”. Um, you bought a Great Dane!

  5. Sarah

    Mar 28, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I used to know someone who bought a puppy and then surrendered her when she was an adult because she was too big for the house! She was a German Shepherd so I don’t know what the owner was expecting!

  6. That’s so crazy,and deep……………..But also heart touching,and sad

  7. Dart

    Jan 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    A two year old Akita is for sale on a yard sale site because it doesn’t have the energy to keep up with their new husky puppy…Grrr

  8. frankie

    Jul 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    At least they’re being surrendered somewhere. My most recent dog is one of several that were abandoned in my neighborhood. He was trying to get through the fence to be with my dogs. Vet says he couldn’t have been more than 4 weeks old

  9. MHR

    May 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Piece of s**ts, all of them! The biggest shame is there are many more still out there. Irresponsible f**ks.

  10. KatieMac

    Apr 27, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Oh my! I was going to say “We’re going on vacation and don’t want to pay to board the dog!” I cannot believe someone else has heard that one too!! I also have heard, “We’re moving to a new house” Really??!! and…did you leave the dirty kid behind too?!!

  11. Robert R

    Mar 22, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I remember the date well. It was 13th February 2000.
    I had just returned home after trying to reunite a young woman with her pup.
    The day before I had rescued a 4 month old puppy from traffic whilst returning home with my dog after being out for our morning walk. After picking the pup up I asked everybody I passed on my way home if they had lost their pup or knew of someone who was missing their puppy.
    Eventually I was given information on the pup’s true owner. When I arrived at this young woman’s home and she answered my knocking, she admitted to being the rightful owner of the pup and she explained that her pup kept climbing up and over her garden fence to escape. After leaving the pup with this woman, I hadn’t even gotten to the end of her street when the pup was once more at my feet, wanting to play with my old dog. I scooped it up and returned to the house to drop it off again. The young woman was very apologetic and as was leaving, I asked her to keep it indoors so that it wouldn’t follow me to my home. She agreed, but this pup managed to catch up to my dog & I just as we arrived home.
    After settling my dog at home I returned to the young woman’s home but this time I got no answer. I left only to return a few more times with her pup, but still received no answer.
    As it was about 9:00 PM when I returned home for the last time that day, I decided to keep her pup over night, feed it and then walk it with my dog the following morning when I would deliver her dog back to her.
    Imagine my shock when I arrived at her home only to find she had disappeared during the night and she has never been seen in my village since then.
    What I don’t understand is since she had no intention of keeping her pup, why didn’t she ask me if I wanted the pup because I would have said YES!
    I kept her abandoned puppy anyway. I never ever knew his original name so I renamed him Jed and he turned out to be the most placid, balanced dog I have ever known never mind had. He loved dogs of all sizes and adored children and their parents. He immediately loved my old dog and when Shep died back in 2006, he immediately accepted Cole into our lives.
    Last July I found Jed dead in his bed. I suspect he had suffered a heart attack.
    Jed left a huge emptiness in our lives when he died. Usually having two dogs does tend to lessen the loss when one of them dies, but unfortunately I was just about coming to terms with losing such a wonderful dog as Jed when Cole succumbed to the cancer he was diagnosed with having. So I’m back to square one once again as I am now grieving for Cole!
    So once in a while, because of some heartless person abandonding their pet, another person gets the chance of being rescued by that abandoned animal, just as I was a little over 15 years ago!

    • KatieMac

      Apr 27, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      That’s so sad. I have always had 2 and spaced them apart so that the “back-up” would be with me when the older one passed. I could not be “dogless” 🙁 I hope you find a new fur baby soon.

    • That’s crazy,and deep……….But at the same time so loving and sad.

  12. Karen

    Mar 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Anyone that has used one of thoes reasons should be put on a list to never be able to own a dof ever again!

  13. S Wooley

    Mar 1, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Sadly, while working in the shelter, I have heard all of these. One dog was returned because it would not bark. But more leave them, telling us they’re strays because of the condition of the dog. One cat was dropped off because he “suddenly went blind”

  14. Anyonymous

    Feb 26, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    “I don’t like the way he looks at me.”
    A woman surrendered her 4-month old Pit Bull puppy to a shelter because she felt uncomfortable with the way he was staring at her. He had never growled, bitten, or otherwise shown any signs of aggression.

    Because it looked like her boyfriend.

    • Naomi

      Apr 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      The ‘he looked at me ‘ one is the only one I can even slightly understand. Ok, so maybe she felt scared and all the stereotypical pit bull associations could have come to mind. But really? Why did she get a pup in the first place?

  15. Nancy

    Feb 26, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    My mother adopted a 2 y/o shih-poo from a local rescue that had been surrendered with his 4 y/o mother; the owner had had the dogs since the mother was a puppy and she had my mother’s dog since his birth. Well, along came a new boyfriend, and he didn’t like dogs, so she “had to get rid of the dogs.” But, in a fit of karma, the boyfriend dumped her a few months later, and she called the rescue to see if she could get her dogs back!! Um–no! Not only no, but HELL NO!!
    I got my guy from a (different) rescue when he was 9 weeks old–he had been surrendered because a son had bought him as a surprize present for him mom…but his mom was 90 years old and heading into a nursing home!!! She had the puppy for 2 days and realized that it was more than she could handle, so she surrendered him to the rescue. While I applaud her, I SMH at the son!!

    • Courtney

      Dec 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      We get people coming in all the time, looking for a dog or cat for their parent that is very old and has to be taken care of so they can have a companion. While I understand that a companion is a great thing for people struggling with so much, an elderly person that can’t even take care of themselves certainly can’t take care of a pet! One woman wanted a cat that would just sit in her elderly mothers lap, since she was in a wheelchair. They looked at this wonderful cat who is the sweetest thing ever. I put the cat in her lap and she just hung out there the whole time, looking content. The cat was a bit timid and you had to show her she could trust you and she would warm up then. I told them that she will probably not come to you at first, but she will let you pick her up and put her in your lap and she will sit with you. They returned her just a few days later because she wouldn’t come up to them and jump up into their laps, as I told them. Any cat in a brand new home with new people they don’t know is going to be scared and probably isn’t going to just jump up in your lap and sit with you all day on their own right away. We also a few months ago had a son and his mother come in for a cat. They eventually decided on a seven month old cat named tuna. She was so incredibly sweet, I really loved her. She was quite small for her age too. They came back to surrender the cat less than twenty four hours later, because they decided that it wasn’t small, young and cute enough. They wanted to exchange her for a really young kitten…it’s like, then why did you take her home in the first place, putting her through all this stress if you knew that wasn’t what you wanted!

  16. Robert K. Held II

    Feb 26, 2015 at 10:02 am

    All of this makes me want to cry.

  17. Frances

    Feb 25, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    The worst excuse I heard while working at a shelter was we are going on vacation and don’t want to have to pay to board the dog. What I said to the people was not very nice, sadly it did not seem to bother them.

  18. Robert K. Held II

    Feb 25, 2015 at 10:12 am

    That is so cruel and I would take every single one of those animals.

  19. Mary

    Jan 14, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I volunteered at a shelter and someone brought in a Great Dane get this – because it got too big. What part of Great Dane did they not understand when they got him?

    Another brilliant person brought in an unneutered beautiful Dalmatian because he kept running away. Did he think maybe if he neutered him he might not have a reason to run away, or if he fixed his fence, or worked on a way to keep him from running away it might solve the problem? No dump the dog.

    Dogs are definitely more loyal than people and they suffer when they are abandoned.

  20. Julie Noel Devlin

    Oct 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    These are outrageous excuses. There is no excuse for their actions. People like that should not be trusted and should not be allowed to own a dog.

  21. Joe Hoffman

    Oct 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    When we got our youngest dog “Sugar” the Human Society told us she had lived with a family with four kids under ten years old for one and a half years. Their excuse was she kept jumping the fence. She did jump our fence a couple of times but never ran off and after we put her on a tether after each time she hasn’t jumped it since and that’s been four years. However we think she was terrorized if not abused in her first home. For the first few weeks every time we went near her she would run and cower in a corner. I take her and with our other two dogs for walks daily, two or three times if possible. To this day she still tries to hold in her bowl movements during these walks like she’s doing something terrible, even though I always tell her it’s ok and pet her and make a big fuss about what a good dog she is. Then the first time I got a flyswatter out to kill a fly she ran behind the couch and wouldn’t come out. I think the family who had her first just thought it would be fun to have a dog but then Sugar became a big nuisance. The only thing my wife and I think they did right was naming her Sugar because she is a sweetheart.

  22. Tan

    Oct 14, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I became friendly with a volunteer at a local shelter because her staffie pup and my very frightened lab got along. My lab has been attacked more than once and as a result doesn’t cope well with strange dogs. He fell in love with Faith the staffie pup. Her mistress informed me that the shelter had been handed a dog because he didn’t match the new settee… not the shedded fur but when he lay down by it. I struggled not to throw up!

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