Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | August 25, 2010

The Forever Home Refuted

Scarlette is Starry eyed for a new Family

My name is Scarlette and I am a lovely Red Tick Hound waiting for a new family here at Second Chance Humane Society.  I wanted to comment on last week’s Pet Column which that silly cat Malory wrote – full of fanciful ideations that weren’t necessarily based on reality – that of the “Forever Home”.  I think the idea of a pet being able to stay with one family for a lifetime is a wonderful and even quite reasonable concept, but life can be full of surprises and it isn’t always that simple.

I was adopted out from this same Shelter about 3 years ago and had a wonderful life with a loving family. But there are times when life throws us a curve and situations beyond our control make even the best intentions fall to the wayside.  There are times when a pet parent realizes that their life circumstances have changed to the point where their pet is no longer experiencing the quality of life they had intended.  This can lead to the gut-wrenching decision of choosing to find a better situation for that pet.  It does not mean that the parent stopped loving the pet.  Sometimes it means they are putting their love before their own needs, guilt, and expectations.

Pets are “relinquished” to the Second Chance Shelter regularly.  Sometimes, it is for reasons that could have been prevented, or that could be altered with some effort and attention.  But sometimes pets develop behaviors that are beyond the capacity of the pet parent to manage.  And sometimes it truly is in the best interests of the pet and despite the heartbreak, the pet is better off being available for a new family or with some other alternative.  As such, I ask that we don’t judge others when such decisions are made. 

However, I don’t want to sound as though I am encouraging people to not commit to a lifetime of loving and caring for their pets.  But I do want to get real and encourage those who made this commitment, yet know their pets are not receiving the quality of life they deserve, to make some changes.  Such changes don’t have to mean relinquishing your pet but could take various forms such as of hiring a dogwalker if your dog is alone too long during the day.  It could mean finding another friend or family member who your pet has bonded with to temporarily take your pet in while you work through some unexpected life issue.  Or it could mean hiring a trainer or behaviorist to get help with your pet’s “acting out” behaviors.

“Forever” is a very long time and sometimes it might better be approached as “for as long as possible”.  As Malory mentioned – don’t hesitate to call the Second Chance Helpline at 626.2273 for guidance with significant changes to your pet’s behavior or situation, and please do not ignore issues of concern until it is no longer feasible to address them.  Second Chance can work with you to find solutions for keeping your pets happily at home.

I also agree with Malory in that you should consider your pets as family members.  However, in doing so, occasionally we have to make very tough decisions that are in the best interest of our family.  If it is done with love and good intentions than that is all we ask for as your family members.

I believe that I will find a new family to love and I hope to be with them for as long as absolutely possible.  Come meet me at the Shelter today…

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online:  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.


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