Relinquishing a pet
Can you take this dog or cat that I found?
Probably not. We are not an animal shelter. We are a sanctuary and that distinction means that we don’t have a high turnover. Our mission is to not to simply recycle animals as quickly as possible. We carefully evaluate each animal that resides here. We take our time to find the best possible home for ones that are adoptable and offer lifetime care to the animals that don’t or can’t get adopted. That means space here is always at a premium. Most of the animals here are found in rural areas on the side of the road. When we have space, we are able to take found animals and owner turn-in animals with a minimum $5,000 donation.
We are deluged daily from people asking Dogwood Farm Sanctuary to take unwanted animals. I know all too well that pet overpopulation and plight of homeless pets are problems that Dogwood Farm Sanctuary cannot solve on its own.
So what can I do with this dog that I found?
Pet overpopulation means that there are too many dogs and cats and not enough good homes for them all. It is hard, but not impossible, to find a good home for a dog or cat that you find. In the meantime, try to find the owner and/or temporarily provide a place for the dog to stay at your house while you look for options. Be sure to keep the dog crated or away from your animals and children while you determine what kind of personality he/she has. Most stray dogs are NOT aggressive, just lost or dumped by an irresponsible owner who cannot care for them.
If you must take the dog or cat to a shelter that euthanizes unwanted animals, know that there is a good chance that a stray will not be claimed by its owner in this facility, despite the fact that shelter personnel will advise you to bring it to the shelter. Be proactive in trying to find the owner but don’t put the dog back into a dangerous situation. Often people claim dogs that are not theirs in order to get a “free” dog, especially pit bulls. Be smart about it.
Do not dump your found dog or cat. While it may put you in a difficult position to take on an added responsibility, finish the job and help the dog or cat by making sure it is out of harm’s way. Putting it back on the streets is the worst possible answer. Use the resources that you have and by all means, help this innocent victim.
Why do you ask for $5,000 to take a dog from an owner? Why don’t you just do a better job at adopting animals?
The bottom line in doing rescue is that many animals need veterinary care and a longer investment in rehabilitation and behavior modification. Some do not. Most animals regardless of their status stay at the facility 8-12 months prior to adoption. Our adoption fee for a dog is $250. This does not begin to pay for the actual cost of taking care and preparing the dog for adoption. The cost of caring for any animal includes food , veterinary care, housing and management of the facility. Housing costs are the most expensive part of running a large-scale facility. Each animal that comes to the facility represents at least $5,000 that must be raised for that animal to be cared for while he or she resides at the facility, at the least for several weeks, at the most for the rest of his or her life.