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ades17

I adopted a dog and now the owner is asking for him back?

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ades17   

Three days ago, I adopted a dog (a private adoption through an owner rehoming her dog, not through a shelter). The dog was a little sad to part with her owner at first, but adjusted to me and her new home really quickly. She now seems really happy and settled. 

Now, the former owner just texted me asking for the dog back. She says she found an apartment that allows dogs, and the only reason she was rehoming the dog in the first place was because she couldn't find an apartment that allows pets. 

I know it's only been three days, but I really love this dog, and she seems to really love me. I'm taking good care of her, and she seems really happy in my home. I adopted her planning to give her a forever home, and I can't imagine giving her up for any reason (least of all a real estate opportunity that isn't even set in stone...) 

At this point, I'm trying to figure out what the right thing to do is, and what's best for the dog. On the one hand, the former owner had him for a lot longer than me (the dog is 3). On the other, she was willing to give him up to make her apartment hunting easier. I've already invested a lot in the dog, both emotionally and financially. The previous owner gave her to me with the understanding that she’d be mine for the rest of the dog's life. I've taken all the steps necessary to make sure that life is a great one. 

What should I do? Keep the dog or give her back? What should I tell this woman? 

Thanks in advance for any advice!!

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I think you should consider...you feel attached after three days, imagine how attached they must feel after three years? She's spent three years teaching this dog how to be happy and settled.

 

Willing isn't a word I'd use if someone is giving up a dog because they cannot find a rental. Renting with dogs is hard and unpredictable. That is a situation forcing the person to give up their dog.

 

Personally, I would give the dog back and reinvest all your energy in a different dog. There are many dogs out there who would love to go home with you and I've no doubt you could find another to give a lovely home and your heart to. If you return this dog, you're helping this dog, this woman and a second yet-unknown-dog :)

 

I don't think anyone can force you to give her up. Just that it would be a nice thing to do.

Edited by Thistle the dog
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ades17   

Thanks for your input! I'm getting a lot of mixed responses, which has me super torn. I really get both sides of the argument...I just want to do what's best for the dog. 

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JulesP   

What financial outlay have you done? Is it food, bedding etc or grooming/vet stuff. If it is the later is the old owner willing to pay you that money? That might be a test on their commitment to getting the dog back. 

 

At 3 days I would probably return the dog. Sad for you but you will find another dog to love. 

 

 

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I wonder how long the original owner had been looking for a home before she decided on giving the dog up in order to make it easier?  I’m torn too;  I would have to be in a state of absolutely last resort before giving my dogs up.  

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karen15   

Personally I have never understood the need to give up a pet due to renting. I rented for 20 odd years with pets. I was a quality long term tenant. When I needed to move because properties were sold, I only ever looked at places that allowed pets. I've only in recent years bought somewhere, so it's not like I haven't been in the current rental market.

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ades17   

Thanks all for your input! Financially speaking, I've gotten everything set up, food/bedding as well as a vet appointment and pet insurance, etc. I've had a lot of people suggest keeping him because of that commitment issue -- if she just found the place, she can't have possibly signed a lease yet. And the fact that she found a place at all implies that she was still looking for apartments, and gave up the dog before actually confirming that she'd be moving to a place where the dog couldn't come. That's why I'd initially used the word "willing," since it rather seems like she hadn't actually locked down a place, and wasn't yet in a position where she *had* to give up the dog. But I also completely understand the argument that I've had him for three days and she's had him for three years -- who am I to tell her that she can't be reunited with her dog?!

 

I got the dog shortly after breaking up with my first long-term boyfriend (I've wanted a dog for years, but he didn't want one, hence the timing!) so I'll admit that it's an emotionally loaded decision for me, which is making it really hard to look at the situation objectively. Not sure I'll look for another dog if I have to end up returning this one. It took me a long time to find her and we bonded really quickly. But I'm trying my best to see past my own feelings and find the best solution for the dog. Thanks all for helping me try to make sense of it all past my personal feelings!

 

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Oh gosh :( 
 The dog is still registered/microchipped in the first owner's name , and if there is nothing written ..no receipt ...sorry , legally this dog is still 'hers'  :(

We can possibly assist in your dog friend search - you're going thru a rough patch, and I agree -a furred companion would be a lovely thing for your heart :):)

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ades17   

She's actually alrady mine. My question is more of a moral one!eady transferred the microchip to me, and I've registered him in my name. Legally, he's alre

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ades17   

Whoops, something happened with my last post! I meant to say: She's actually already transferred the microchip to me, and I've registered her in my name. Legally, she's already min. My question is more of a moral one!

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I'd give the dog back - whether or not she did it more on a whim than you would isn't really that important. You have no idea what place she was in mentally in order to give up the dog so try not to judge. 

 

Did she sign his microchip over to you? Did you sign that form and send it off? That is the document that proves legal ownership really so if that wasn't done then give him back. 

 

He's had a great weekend with you, you've proven to yourself how a dog fits into your life and that your dog is out there and you're ready for it.

 

Edit: just saw he's been transferred to you but I'd still return him. The dog would choose his owner I think. 

Edited by mackiemad
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6 minutes ago, ades17 said:

Whoops, something happened with my last post! I meant to say: She's actually already transferred the microchip to me, and I've registered her in my name. Legally, she's already min. My question is more of a moral one!

Ahhh..Ok .
sad you will be , but , you know what - YOUR dog is out there  :) if THIS boy IS yours , he'll return. That happened to me many years ago with my heart dog . He was sold basically as I pulled into the driveway ..but came to me a few months later  .... It was meant to be. 

Morally ? I'd return this dog to his owner  :(

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juice   

I am torn too , my concern would be what if this apartment doesn’t work out and she then rehomes the dog again ? Without meeting her and getting a gut feeling for her loyalty it’s hard . 

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ades17   
Just now, juice said:

I am torn too , my concern would be what if this apartment doesn’t work out and she then rehomes the dog again ? Without meeting her and getting a gut feeling for her loyalty it’s hard . 

3

My gut feeling is saying that's a real possibility she'll rehome him again (she's been kind of flakey and really nonchalant throughout the whole process), but I can't tell if that's actually the case or if I just want it to be! 

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Just now, juice said:

I am torn too , my concern would be what if this apartment doesn’t work out and she then rehomes the dog again ? Without meeting her and getting a gut feeling for her loyalty it’s hard . 

It is tricky ... life is made to be like that :(

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Renting these days is very hard with a dog. Short of interrogating her, no-one will be able to say how long or hard she has been trying to get a rental. Even then, it's a bit like measuring a string. Did she look hard enough? Well, everyone's views as to what is "hard enough" will differ. Who is better for the dog? Again, everyone will have a different view based off the imagined scenarios in their head and own personal experiences.

 

I have had to rehome pets previously, due to the uncertainty that is the rental process. I was so upset about it, I didn't buy a dog for fear of a repeat situation until I had bought a house. I hate renting and its unfriendliness to pets with a passion. So my feelings is if they've found a dog friendly place, to let them have the dog back, because I remember how upset I was to have to give up a pet.

Others however will have different feelings as to the "right answer" and who is "better" for the dog.

 

Because it is a moral quandary, with no hard answer, you will keep getting conflicting advice.

 

No matter your decision, it is something you need to be personally okay because there is no one "right answer" for you :o 

 

If you keep this dog, will you be okay with the emotional distress you might be giving this owner?

 

If you don't keep this dog, are you sure you won't be able to find another dog to rehome? It takes time, but there are new dogs being rehomed every day.

 

Either way I expect the dog will be in a nice home. and either way someone will be upset. it is a messy situation.

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Oh gosh, ades ..OK ... talk/txt &  casually ask her where she's moved to ...isn't it great she can have dogs etc ... hopefully you have a name/address of the complex . 

 enquire ..and phone or check website ...see if dogs are allowed...or dogs of a certain size/type ?  


 

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Perse does bring to mind, There is the option of returning them and letting them know if the rental doesn't work out, you would still be willing to take the dog on again while you look at other homeless dogs. You might even end up with a dog walking buddy out of it when you do find another dog.

 

Many ways it can play out. Tough call.

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1 minute ago, Thistle the dog said:

letting them know if the rental doesn't work out, you would still be willing to take the dog on again while you look at other homeless dogs.

Good plan, too !

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ades17   

I've thought about that! I just don't want to be jerked around any further. I definitely don't have the emotional bandwidth to have the owner ping pong this dog back and forth while she looks for an apartment! She lives in a neighboring city, so it would be harder to have a more casual relationship. Ultimately you're right, Thistle, that it's really just a question of who will be upset, as the dog will likely have a good home either way, assuming she gets the apartment she's found. I certainly don't want to put any emotional distress on her. 

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