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If you go to NextDoor for my neighborhood you’re going to scroll through at least fifteen posts about Dog Found, Stray Dog Located. It’s become an epidemic this month. I don’t know if people are abandoning their dogs in my neighborhood or if they’re getting dumped here in some other way.

Cats aren’t exempt, either, and there are always reports of a poor rescued kitty who died of feline leukemia which is highly contagious.

One of the problems in helping out a stray dog is that they may carry diseases like canine flu that could be transmitted to your pets. Still, I applaud the efforts of these good samaritans who look out for these poor dogs and cats especially in this heat.

Why do you think people abandon their pets? I know the myriad reasons, from crowded shelters to financial issues to behavioral problems, but what I want to know is why? How can they live with themselves knowing that they took in a pet then when it got to be too much simply let it go to fend for itself, starve, get mistreated, or run over by a car?

I don’t understand. My guilt would paralyze me.

One dog I rescued had parvo and was at the vet’s for two weeks. He survived, but was never, well, manageable. He ran away constantly, ate the carpet, chewed on furniture, and was otherwise a holy terror. I advertised and found another home for him and off he went to be a companion to a little boy. Six months later I was notified – because of the rescue’s records – that he was euthanized for behavioral issues. I’ve always felt horrible about that. I’ve wondered, for years, if he would have been a better dog if I’d spent more time with him, taken him to obedience training, done more. I thought I’d done the right thing, but it didn’t turn out to be right for him.

I see ads all the time to re-home a dog. I understand those. Sometimes, it’s just not the right fit. That’s why I like rescues that offer you a two week no questions asked return policy.

What do you think? How do people abandon a dog that’s come to rely on you for love, food, and shelter?