Passionate About Fort Worth
and the Moms Who Live Here

Out of Options: When You Have to Get Rid of a Family Pet

I consider our pets a part of our family. When we adopted them, we agreed to take care of them, and I consider that agreement a sacred trust. We’ve moved with pets, paid crazy high deposits and fees to keep our pets, and dealt with behavior issues. I’m even allergic to cats, yet we’ve kept our two for almost 12 years.   

However, even the best pet lovers have trouble with pet ownership now and again. In chatting with other moms, I’ve found many homes deal with trouble housebreaking dogs and cats, chewing furniture, and aggression towards family members. If you’re at your wit’s end with your family pet, there are some solutions to enable you to keep your sanity . . . and your pet:

  • Behavior issues. If your pet has a behavior issue, it’s likely you can modify its behavior with some training. Contact local animal pet trainers to see if they can help find a solution for your pet.
  • Medical issues. Some behavior (like cats not using their litter box as you’d like them to) may seem like their behavior issues, but are really undiagnosed medical issues. It’s worth a trip to the vet to check in to ensure there isn’t an underlying issue.
  • Housing issues. If your landlord or apartment complex isn’t pet friendly, there are a lot of places in the area that are. You can search zillow.com for available places for rent and then filter by pet-friendly locations. There are also lots of pitbull friendly housing locations.

There are times, however, when you feel like you have no other choice but to give up your pet. Such was the case with our family. About a year ago, we adopted a new dog. We already had a dog, and had no known allergies to them. Our newest addition was sweet, playful, and the perfect family pet. About a week after our adoption, we realized we had allergies . . . and not just the kind of allergy you can take a pill for (which is how I survive with our cats). Having him around affected our breathing. My youngest was wheezing on a regular basis, and Albuterol was becoming our best friend.

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Considering how loyal I am to our pets, we tried it all . . . bathing him once a week, keeping him away from certain parts of the house, and even ripping out the carpet in the living areas. Our adopted dog was the perfect pet. However, nothing helped our allergies, and after a year of wheezing, I felt I had no choice but to find him a new home. I was heartbroken, and my kids were so incredibly sad.

I knew I had to find the right place to take him. After a great deal of research, I present to you my favorite local options when your loved family pet needs a new home:

  • Find a friend or family member who can take them in. I know this seems obvious, but it took a while to realize I could ask those I knew if they were interested in a wonderful pet. They benefit because you know ALL about the animal and can answer questions to ensure they’re a good fit.
  • Post on a neighborhood Facebook group.
  • Operation Kindness in Carrollton.
  • HSNT (multiple locations in Fort Worth). While HSNT isn’t technically no-kill, it does its best to spare the animal. Additionally, there are adoption centers in Keller and Benbrook that offer guaranteed adoption options (if you have an extra $150 to spare).
  • Humane Society in Irving.

It’s been weeks since I gave our dog up. I think about him everyday . . . and I still cry over his departure. Within days, our breathing cleared up and my littlest one is no longer taking daily allergy meds. Deep down, I know I made the right choice . . . people have to come before pets. But, it will be a long time before I recover emotionally from losing our sweet pup.

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