Returning a Pet Adopted From Us

Everyone dreams of the “perfect” pet. You found a dog or cat that you think fits you or your family perfectly. But this “perfect pet” came from the shelter which means that there may be a longer period of adjustment for both you and your pet than you might anticipate. Many shelter pets were “thrown away” by someone they loved through no fault of their own, or were abused and neglected so they are scared, wary and insecure in a new home with new people.

Before you think of bringing your new friend back to the shelter, please contact us concerning these issues. There are ways we can help keep you and your new friend together.

If you are willing to have patience, you can usually weather the situation, and both of you will be the better for it. One of the biggest and best ways to be able to keep your new dog is to crate train your pet. Contrary to the belief of some, this is NOT cruel to the dog, but rather, duplicates the type of safe shelter he/she would seek in nature. Our extensive article on crate training can explain this in more detail. We suggest that you visit that page as a first step.

If you are encountering digging, scratching, house soiling or other issues, our article on Dealing With Problem Pets should be your next stop. Most, if not almost all, issues can be resolved with patience, understanding and teaching basic obedience skills.

Contact us and ask us for help with your new pet. We will do anything that we can to help keep you together and assure that a precious animal has a “forever” home. Please realize that the shelter staff REALLY would like to see you keep your new friend, so they will encourage you to try alternative efforts rather than simply return the animal.

Sometimes, though, things just don’t work out no matter how hard everyone tries. If, for whatever reason, you aren’t able to keep your new pet that you adopted from the Hillside SPCA, please note that YOU MUST RETURN THAT ANIMAL TO THE HILLSIDE – NO EXCEPTIONS!

Our contract clearly states, “If for any reason the Adopter is unable to provide care to the animal, the Adopter agrees to return the animal to the Hillside S.P.C.A., Inc. The Adopter shall not offer the animal for sale or give the animal to any third party without the prior written consent of the Hillside S.P.C.A., Inc.” (note: third party INCLUDES any OTHER shelter)

You may think that you can find a good home for your pet, or perhaps you’re embarrassed to return to the Hillside, but no matter what, PLEASE honor the contract you signed and bring the animal back to us. If you don’t and give the animal away to another person or take it to another shelter, you might literally be handing that animal a death sentence.

That “nice boy” from next door might not be as nice as you think, or that other shelter you take your pet to may not be “no kill” like the Hillside. In the past, we’ve had animals given to others instead of being returned to us – the results haven’t been pretty. More than once we’ve found out that an animal was given to another shelter and by the time we got to them, they were euthanized – for being too old, “snappy” (because they are scared or confused) or because there wasn’t enough room. Had they come back to the Hillside, they’d have been given another chance. Now, they are gone – forever.

Do not place a “FREE AD” if you must ever relinquish a pet. Free ads attract unsavory people, many of whom collect and sell animals to research facilities (yes, even in Schuylkill County). Read more at Why Free Ads are Hazardous to Pets.

Please don’t sentence an animal to their death because things aren’t working out. Return them to the Hillside SPCA and give them another lease on life.

See also: Surrendering an Animal to the Hillside SPCA

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