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Common Reason's Pet Adoptions May Fail

Categories // Helpful Info

A Helpful Blog by The Pet Rescue Center's Director of Operations

We are very involved in pet adoptions. We currently provide a temporary sanctuary for the Pet Rescue Center's rescue cats. This is a fantastic article to read if you are interested in adopting a dog or cat this summer. Prepare your home, family, and current furry babies for a new addition.

Caption 6"Adoption of a rescued pet is a noble and notable thing to do.  You are adding a beloved family member to your family. You are supporting Rescue.Rehab.Rehoming of homeless and at risk pets.  You are simply changing your life and taking a step to a new life with a furry new friend.
Casey’s Advice for Common Reasons/Problems we hear in the first few weeks of adoption.
We have many handouts on all of these "problems" new adopters may run into. It is important to reach out for help before these normal behaviors turn into problematic behaviors.  
Please contact The PRC if you are experiencing any of these problems with your new PRC Rescued Pet.  

The process of adoption review and approval is something we take very seriously. We take a critical look at the prospective adopter. We weigh all answers on the application, the personality and history of the dog/cat in question, and the meet and greet opportunity. Each step is essential for us to ensure we have thoroughly evaluated the potential adoption to make sure it’s a perfect match.

….but, sadly, sometimes adoptions fail. We are always sad when this happens. Our rescues have already been through so much by the time they come into our care. Patiently waiting for their forever family is sometimes hard to watch when the process fails or takes a really long time.
There are many reasons for a possible “failed adoption” and some are possible to work through, some are not.   Whatever the reason though, The PRC is ALWAYS here to help with resources, trainers, past experience, handouts, whatever is needed.
1.) Not getting along with the resident pets.

 It takes 4-6 weeks minimum to see how animals are going to get along with each other. Many adopting families give up in the 1st few weeks after adopting if the new pet is not "best friends" with their resident dog or cat. This is a big adjustment for both pets and should be handled with patience and knowledge on how animals interact. When there is another cat being introduced to a new dog the patience should exceed a couple months. Most cats and dogs will either learn to love each other through educated parenting or learn to tolerate each other as long as the dog is not overly aggressive towards that pet. Just imagine how human children would react to each other, the myriad of behaviors and emotions when thrown into a new situation is challenging to maneuver, but with love and patience a happy family will emerge.  

There are many informational sites reviewing how to introduce new pets that are very helpful. Sadly, these problems are usually not addressed until the owner has "had enough."
2.) Potty training
Potty training can be a huge problem when pets are introduced to a new environment. We always recommend crate training your dog no matter how well potty trained he appears to be at our facility. Entering a new home gives your new pet a chance to push new boundaries. If you are not strict from the beginning, and establish routine and boundaries, you may find yourself with a pet inappropriately eliminating indoors. 
A Brief How and Why....
Crate training creates a much easier way of showing your dog when and where they can go potty. When the dog is crated over night, you would wake him up in the a.m. and immediately take them outside to go potty. No good morning treats, just a "go potty!". When your dog is going outside, you give tons of praise which they will enjoy and know they did what you asked. This should happen any time you are leaving the house during the day as well. Crate training should happen at least the first 2 weeks before you give them full reign of the house.  This goes for cats too. The cats are living in a restricted space at our rescue, sometimes for many months. When you first bring your cat home, it is best to start in one small room (laundry, bathroom). Once you see that your cat is comfortable in that environment, then you can start slowly introducing he/she to the rest of your home. The room you start in should have, food/water, litter box, bed, toys, scratching post and everything he/she would need to be properly housed. 
3.) Aggression
 We have had pets returned for aggression. This happens even when the animal has never displayed aggression in our facility. Most common signs of normal aggression that can easily be fixed are, on leash aggression towards another dog, aggression when a guest comes to the house, and sometimes aggression with children. 
Again, your new pet has just been thrown into a new world.
 A new pet owner should be educated on how to properly socialize your dog so this does not end up happening. If a dog is kept away from meeting new dogs or new people, many of them will become territorial or protective of their owners. It is the owners job to teach the pet that they are in charge and the dog needs to not worry about any outside distractions. A dog with out worries will most likely love to meet and play with new friends. Aggression with children is almost always fear aggression. If a dog has never been around children before, they need to be taught what they're all about before an accident happens. Children do not know boundaries or proper pet affection etiquette. If a dog is unsure of an approaching child or uncomfortable, it is the job of the owner to assure them they are safe and that the child will not harm them. Or direct the child away form the nervous dog, to ensure no bites occur, until the initial nerves calm down.  When this "socialization" does not happen, dogs can growl, show teeth or even attempt to bite out of nothing other than fear of the unknown.
This is not a fault of the breed or of the dog!! As pet owners we need to teach our pets how to behave properly, and sometimes we need to learn how to set a good example.  
4.) Teething / Mouthing
This is a very common reason for returns with puppies and kittens as well as young adults pets. From 4-6 months, puppies are losing their baby teeth and growing adult teeth. It is very pleasurable for them to chew during these stages. If the dog is not given toys, rawhides and things to relieve this urge, they will want to chew on you, your shoes, or anything else you leave around the house. Cats also enjoy biting on hands and arms, as well as other house hold objects during these times. Many times, if a puppy/kitten is never taught that this is an unwanted behavior, mouthing and nipping can continue into adult hood and later be considered "biting". It is important to remember that dogs will mouth/nip at each other to engage in play when living in a pack. As a new pack leader, it is your job to teach them what they are allowed to chew on and what they are not. Positive reinforcement and the proper tools makes this learning process very easy, but consistency and patience is the key to success."


Casey Oliver - Director of Operations

The Pet Rescue Center

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