You've Found a Dog, Now What?
First, thank you for taking the time to stop and take a stray dog into a safe situation. A few things to understand before reaching out to Pei People with a dog that you have found.
Because we are an all foster organization, it is incredibly difficult for us to take in dogs with unknown health, behavior and vaccination histories into homes. In addition, we are not the first place that an owner would look for their lost dog - they would typically look at their local shelter. Also, laws vary from state to state on how long a lost dog must be in an individual's possession (and the rules are often different for rescue organizations) and what type of due diligence (putting up flyers, contacting shelters) before the dog legally becomes your dog.
For these reasons, Pei People prefers that all found dogs go through your local shelter system. They can properly scan the dog for a microchip, attend to immediate medical needs, handle vaccinations and have the resources and visibility to help owners reunite with their lost/missing dog. In some cases, you can report a dog as found with your local shelter and continue to keep the dog safely in your home (depends on the shelter). Pei People is a rescue partner with just about every shelter in the states we operate in, so when a shar pei does come into a shelter, we have systems in place to notify us.
You are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with photos of the dog you've found and the ID number the shelter will give you when you turn in a dog. Very often if the dog is not reclaimed by its original owner, you can request that the dog be returned to you to adopt/legally own.
Things you can do prior to surrendering a found dog to your local shelter:
- take the dog to any vet or shelter and have the dog scanned for a microchip. this could lead you very quickly to an owner
- many shelters have 24/7 arrangements to drop dogs off at their location or at an emergency vet in the area - visit your local shelter's website to find out their procedures
- put up flyers in your neighborhood
- put a listing on craigslist.com (free) describing where you found dog (it is often a good idea to leave a few details out to ensure the correct owner steps forward) and ask the owner to bring photos of the dog with them to pick up the dog
- contact local vets and shelter and see if anyone is missing a dog and drop a flyer at their front desk
Again, we understand that many people do not want to take a found dog to their shelter. But think about what if it was your dog - where would you first look to find him/her?
So you want to surrender your Shar-pei...
Before you finalize the surrender of your dog please take a moment to consider some important things.
We speak to you as an advocate group for your pet because your Shar-pei has no say in this. If he/she could speak, we are sure you would get an ear-full. Shar-pei love unconditionally, you are all they have. They are the most emotional of animals.
We see dogs extremely depressed, upset, whining howling, crying for days after surrender. They do not understand where their family went. My heart goes out to them. If we had enough foster homes it would be easier on them but we don't always. If your dog is older, has any issues such as over-weight, behavior-problems, or is not-full-blooded, their wait for a home can be 6 months to a year. This is not a pleasant experience for the poor sweet-spirited, people-loving Shar-pei, yet better than the alternative. We save their lives, and do the best we can.
Because of the overwhelming loss, surrender, abandonment and neglect of dogs in our throw-away society we typically have 10-30 dogs in our system at all times.
So please, take a deep breath and re-consider why you are giving your Shar-pei up. Is it really necessary or are you over-reacting to some circumstances that could be resolved with training or a commitment on your part? If this were a human child that suddenly had some issues, would you immediately want to give her/him up for adoption? Of course not! We ask you to think of your family pet in the same way. Many times people really regret making a hasty decision. Many people calm down after the event that motivated them to contact us, realize that there are other less drastic solutions to the problem.
Lack of training is the number one reason people think they need to give up a dog. People often want to surrender their dog because he is untrained. That is so easily resolved- just an investment in your time and the cost of the lessons. And the class is really for you, not the dog. Your dog will respond quickly to consistent training. Do not expect him to be perfect without it!
Dogs that fight with one another are not likely going to attack people. Do not assume because you are moving there are no ways to take the dog with you. Do not assume that puppy behavior is never going to end, but will end immediately if you begin a training regimen. Please at least take the time to discuss the incident with your vet or a trainer before making the decision to surrender your pet.
If you are considering re-homing your dog because he/she is aggressive, you should know that it is unlikely that we will be able to re-home your dog. We recommend training (as well as spaying/neutering) to enable you to keep your dog instead of re-homing him/her. Some trainers are not fans of shar-pei, and you should interview any potential trainers before enlisting their services. We have heard of several trainers who do not like to work with shar pei and should not be used for this breed. Please ask friends, family and your vet for local trainer referrals (we are working on a list soon on our website).
Entropion surgery and other unexpected expensive medical treatments often have solutions other than giving up your dog. Please consider getting a second opinion/quote (visit our page with lists of shar-pei savvy vets on this site). Also, look at carecredit.com, which is a credit card with no interest due (if you make minimum payments) that is only good at vets, doctors & dentists....this is a great way to break up a large expense into more manageable payments of 6, 12 or 18 months. Gofundme fundraisers, borrowing from family and asking your vet for management options (will eye ointment or similar buy you some time until you can afford surgery) while you save up funds may also be options.
Elderly dogs with unmanageable or fatal vet diagnoses are best living out their final days/weeks/months in your home. To put a dog that you may have had for years or since a puppy through the rehoming process (and likely elderly sick dogs will not be adopted) is unimaginably damaging to them. Please discuss options with your vet, including the ability to keep your dog comfortable as long as possible and being there for them even in their last moments.
If your dog is a mix, we suggest you search on adoptapet.com and petfinder.com for rescue groups in your immediate area. Some groups rescue mixed breeds and take in various purebred dogs, so this is a good way to find other options for placing your dog.
Some people do not crate because it is “cruel”. I say it is cruel to refuse to crate train your dog and then give him away because he got into trouble or destroyed something. He would be better in a crate at your home with time out every few hours with people he loves. Keeping an untrained dog on a on a leash & collar even in the house and working the sit/stay commands can do wonders.
We will do our best if you turn him in, but the competition is fierce now with so many dogs in our system. We do not mean to make you sad, but cannot sugar coat this decision. We cry daily as we see all the pei-bies once snoozing on their beds now in a kennel, scared to death. And we worry about the huge financial burden the rescue struggles with daily to support them in their crisis and try to find new, responsible loving homes. Please make sure you have already asked friends and family members if they would consider "fostering" your dog until you are in a position to move to a more pet-friendly arrangement. In this case, you would still be the dog's legal owner and would pay all the dog's expenses such as food and vet care, while the foster gets all the benefits of having a pet. It is also a good idea to spell out the details of the arrangement in writing for yourself and the foster if you choose this option.
At least with us, it is a temporary situation and better than euthanasia. The county shelters and Humane Societies routinely are putting dogs down for space, and owner turn-ins come first as there are no laws to protect them. The strays at least get a few days to find a home before they are euthanized.
If you still feel you must turn your dog in we ask for your financial support. No shelter takes dogs in for free in this day and age- there is a minimum turn-in fee. All Pei People rescue dogs are neutered, which costs $140-$400, plus vaccinations are another $75. Our annual costs are over $150,000. We are running this rescue only on donations, and we desperately need your support.
We will do the best for your Shar-pei. We carefully screen applicants and eventually will find the perfect match for your dog. We just ask you take a few days and completely evaluate the circumstances before putting your friend through this traumatic experience.
If you still feel surrendering your dog is your only option, please click here to submit a request to us.
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