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Relinquising a Dog?
What to do?


Before you decide to relinquish your dog, ask yourself the real reasons you are doing it.


You’re moving and can’t find a place that accepts pets.

Moving is the most common reason why people give up their pets. It doesn’t have to be this way. Unfortunately, we live in a throw-away society where we feel it’s alright to get rid of something once it becomes an inconvenience. Before you consider giving up your pet because you’re moving, please read the following:

  1. Most people give up too quickly in their search for rental property that accepts pets. Don’t be quick to jump on the first apartment you see. There’ll probably be a better one available soon.
  2. Widen your search. Most people only look as far as the classifieds ads. Many landlords list their property through real estate agents or rental associations rather than the classifieds. Take advantage of rental services that help tenants find apartment. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers to keep an eye open for you. Many apartments are rented via word of mouth before they’re ever advertised in the papers.
  3. A home that allows pets might be in a different neighborhood than you’d prefer. It might be a few more miles from work. It might not be as luxurious as you’d like. It might cost a few dollars more. Are you willing to compromise if it means being able to keep your dog or cat?
  4. “No Pets” doesn’t always mean “no pets, period.” Many landlords automatically rule out pets because they don’t want the hassle. Many of these landlords are pet owners themselves. Just because the ad says “no pets” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see the apartment anyway. During the interview, ask the landlord, “Are pets absolutely out of the question?” If he answers, “Well…,” you have a chance! HINT: You’ll have better luck asking this question in person than over the telephone – it’s harder for people to say no to your face.

To encourage a landlord to let you keep your dog…

  • Bring your well-groomed, well-behaved dog to the rental interview. Show your landlord that your dog is well-cared for and that you’re a responsible owner. Bring along an obedience class diploma, Canine Good Citizen Certificate or other achievement certifications if your dog has them.
  • Offer an additional security deposit or rental amount to be able to have a dog.
  • Bring references from your previous landlords and neighbors, as well as from your dog’s trainer. Invite the landlord to see your present home to show him that the dog has not damaged the property nor been a nuisance to the neighbors.
  • Use a dog crate. Landlords are much more receptive to dogs that will be crated when their owners aren’t home.
  • Don’t think you’re being unfair to your dog by moving into a smaller place than what he’s used to. Dogs are very adaptable, they can often adjust even faster than people. Where he lives isn’t as important to him as who he lives with. He wants to be with you, and he doesn’t care where that is.

In difficult times, people often have to move in with relatives or friends who don’t like dogs. This doesn’t have to be an impossible situation.

  • Use a dog crate when you’re not home or when your family doesn’t want your dog underfoot. A portable kennel run can be set up in the yard for exercise and can be sold later when you have your own place and don’t need it anymore.

Things to remember…

  • There are 127,000 animals put to death in Los Angeles each year.
  • Most shelters are full, often putting 2 or more dogs in one kennel. Most city and county shelters will have to euthanize an animal in order to make room for yours coming in.
  • At city and county shelters, dogs are generally given 5 working days to be adopted… if your dog is not adopted in this time, it will be put to sleep.
  • All shelters are full of young and older dogs, purebred and mixed, sweet and shy… don’t assume your dog will be easily placed just because he’s cute, trained or has a great personality. Even if you relinquish your pet to a 501c3, non-profit animal welfare organization like Ken-Mar Rescue, keep in mind that kennel life is extremely stressful for them while they’re waiting for a new home.
  • When you adopted or bought your pet, you took on the responsibility of that animal for the rest of its life. Remember that a dog is an actual life – not a piece of furniture to be given away when it no longer fits. Dogs are such wonderful, compassionate, giving souls… we hope you find it in your heart to keep your pet.

You just don’t have the time for your pet. They deserves a home that can give them more attention.

We can’t even tell you how often we hear this. But unfortunately your pet does not have a voice. He can’t tell you that he would rather stay with the family he has known and loved all his life. Animals ask for so little in return for their unconditional love. We humans are not nearly so selfless. That must be why we crave the love of these wonderful creatures. Now think about it… you took on the responsibility to care for your pet for its entire life when you adopted him/her, right? You must have 5 minutes in your schedule to play some ball or spend some time snuggling with your pet when you sit down to watch your favorite TV program. I mean, isn’t that why you adopted your pet to begin with? Dogs have feelings, too… they go through psychological torment when they lose their family. Your pet deserves to stay with the family he/she loves.

Your dog is out of control, jumps on you and your kids, destroys your house, etc. Every dog around 8 months old to 2 years old goes through a difficult period. What helps?…Training! Trust us, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You just need better communication with your dog, and you both will get through it. And guess what your reward will be? A pet that will love you unconditionally for the rest of its life! Not bad, huh?

I can no longer afford to take care of my pet.

The Volunteers of America offer a Companion Pet Program that helps low-income seniors keep their beloved companion pets. The program is available in the greater Long Beach area, parts of Orange County, the South Bay, and Los Angeles. Telephone (213) 389-1500 ext.18.

127,000 Healthy, Playful Pets are killed in Los Angeles County every year! YOU can help!

Most people do not realize what an overwhelming pet overpopulation problem exists Los Angeles! Sure, many people know that animals die in shelters, but do they realize the true cause? Ignorance may be bliss, but it is ignorance that is killing these innocent, loving creatures.

  • Only 1 in every 10 dogs born finds a permanent home!
  • At any given time, there are approximately 40,000 strays wandering the streets.

The country’s thousands of pounds and shelters are forced to kill millions of animals every year. It’s the same old story. “We couldn’t get rid of our litter,” the people say. “You can find good homes for them, can’t you?” The shelter workers at the desk nearly always respond: “Oh, yes, we can find good homes for them,” knowing in their hearts they will be put to sleep. A sad way for a new puppy to start off life and a sad way for their lives to end.

A thousand pet owners have a thousand excuses for letting their pets breed, and so they add thousands – hundreds of thousands – millions – of puppies and kittens to the rising flood of the unloved and unwanted.

How can YOU help?

Spay and neuter the pets in your home. Rescue from the shelter instead of purchasing from pet stores (most of these animals come from breeding mills and backyard breeders). When you adopt an animal, be prepared to make a lifetime commitment, through good times and bad. If you are considering breeding your pet, go down to your local shelter and look into the eyes of the innocent… those hoping beyond hope for someone to love them… and realize that you are denying these animals a home by breeding your pet.


Please understand with the overwhelming amount of animal surrenders in Los Angeles and the limited amount of space that we have, contacting us does not ensure that Ken-Mar Rescue will be able to take in your animal. Please note that if you have found this animal as a stray, you must first take all steps necessary to find his or her original guardian. Ken-Mar Rescue cannot assist you unless these steps have been taken.