Having trouble finding a new home for our dog
February 4, 2017 11:13 PM   Subscribe

Our infant son is allergic to our 9-year-old lab mix. We have made the hard decision that we need to find her a new home. She (our dog) is a wonderful companion, but has some issues that are making it difficult to do so.

Besides the allergy issue, she is not great with our son. That is the other big reason we feel we need to re-home her. She has growled rather aggressively at him. So we don't feel comfortable giving her to a family with young children. She also does not get along well with other animals, so any families who already have pets are out.

Our preference would be to give her to someone we know, partly so that we can potentially see her again occasionally, but mostly so we can be confident that she is going to a loving family.

Mostly, we are unsure how to navigate this situation. What do people do to find new homes for their pets? Is Craigslist too much of a crapshoot? Are there reliable services? We're in the Chicago area, if that helps. Thanks!

P.S. Please do not try to convince us to keep our dog. We are certain about finding her a new home, we just want to do it the right way.
posted by anonymous to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
I would look for a local Lab rescue (these guys maybe?) if she is pretty "labby" looking. One of our dogs is definitely not a purebred lab but we got her from a Lab breed rescue. They found her at the pound. They had a lot of adoptable lab mixes who had stories just like yours and they had extremely high turnover. Lots of people want a lab! She'll find a great family for sure.

Good luck!
posted by potrzebie at 11:35 PM on February 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

Memail me, I know someone to put you in touch with who might be able to help.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:44 PM on February 4, 2017

Definitely not Craigslist. Even though PETA isn't my favorite news source, they do have a handy list of some of the 'higher profile' Craigslist killings of pets. And sadly, these are not isolated instances.
posted by bolognius maximus at 12:12 AM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry; this is tough. Usually, surrendering a dog means taking it to a no-kill shelter or rescue place. You pay them up to $600 and they take the dog. Unfortunately, they don't give you updates about their new home.

Your dog will be far more adoptable and have a chance at living with a family if it's trained and more socialized. Is there any possibility you can get it into adult dog obedience classes or hire a trainer to come over and work with it before surrendering it?

(And I know you don't want to hear this, but -- my infant daughter was allergic to cats and dogs and she outgrew the allergies and is now becoming a veterinarian. Is it really impossible for you to keep them separated for now, hire a trainer and get your pup enrolled in doggy day care/doggie play dates? This may be a more solvable problem than you think.)
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:42 AM on February 5, 2017 [11 favorites]

I volunteer in dog rescue in the Chicagoland area. These are all good people, and can be found via petfinder.com. Call and tell them the story:

Chicagoland Lab Rescue (as mentioned above)
Animal House in Huntley
A.D.O.P.T. in Naperville
PAWS in Tinley Park
NAWS in Tinley Park
Heartland in Des Plaines
Animal Rescue Foundation - Illinois
Help Save Pets - Plainfield

This is not an exhaustive list by any means - just the ones off the top of my head that I know will take labs. Although, I can't say whether or not they will take YOUR lab.

Just, please don't take her to Chicago Animal Care and Control.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:03 AM on February 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

When my sister had to rehome her cat for similar reasons, she talked to her vet, who knew of people who had recently had to put down pets or were looking to adopt. But my sis lives in a more rural area with few shelters, so the vet is kind of a clearinghouse for word-of-mouth and for whether people are trustworthy, etc. I would check with your vet if you have a good relationship with them, they might have recommendations for a particular shelter if they don't have specific family or adopter recommendations.
posted by pepper bird at 6:26 AM on February 5, 2017

As someone who once had to rehome a beloved dog, I would strongly advise against trying to have occasional visitation with the dog after it has gone to a new home. It will make it harder for the dog to bond with the new owner and will be confusing for the dog who will think you have finally come to get him and bring him home. Not fair to the dog or the new owner.

Perhaps calling to check in with the new owner would work.

It's a tough situation, I know, but the right person is out there. Keep putting out the word to everyone you know and any lab clubs or organizations.
posted by mulcahy at 6:31 AM on February 5, 2017 [7 favorites]

Talk to your vet. My elderly mom lost her dog companion a few years ago - she asked her vet to keep an eye out for an older dog that would be suitable for her.
posted by summerstorm at 7:40 AM on February 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

There is a new organization in Chicago that is just for this kind of situation. It's called CRISP (Chicagoland Intervention and Support Program). They work with several rescues in the city to help rehome dogs just like yours.
posted by smich at 8:34 AM on February 5, 2017

I think it's possible that your lab might be a great companion for a new widow or widower, as well. My stepmother recently passed, and one of the only things that's been keeping my dad going is his rescue dog. Maybe touch base with community leaders who might know of people who have been recently bereaved who might want someone to keep them company?
posted by corb at 12:12 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do NOT give to craigslist or a shelter (they will pretty much put it down in 2 weeks or so). It is your responsibility to find a good home for this dog, no matter how long it takes. At the same time keep your kid away from the dog and never leave them alone with each other. Not just your Vet but all the Vets in the local region you are in should be given the details. Another option is Nextdoor.com.
posted by metajim at 2:57 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

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