In the animal-loving world, we seem to have an unspoken agreement that we will love, protect and keep the animals that come across our path. For the most part, we fur parents do just that. What happens though, when you bring an animal into your home that turns out to be a bad fit? I've had several clients struggling with something like this recently and I think it bears bringing up. Not every animal will be well suited to your home. Perhaps it's because of the environment. Perhaps it's their personality or their needs. Perhaps it is other animals in the household who are unable or unwilling to adapt to having them there. There could be a myriad of reasons. Essentially, it leaves us with two choices. We either stick it out and find some way to make it work or we find a new home for that animal. Sometimes neither option feels great.
On one hand, there is certainly plenty of reason to give it a little more time. A day or two may not be enough to know if we can work our differences out right? But then again, if it is clear from the get-go that this animal is not going to work out in your home, perhaps it is best to find them a new home before they have bonded to you.
So let's talk about rehoming. Surrendering an animal has a pretty cold empty feeling to it. If you end up in this situation, I would urge you to do the legwork to find a good home yourself. Perhaps that does come in the form of a rescue. Many rescues are breed-specific and will very well understand the needs of the animal that you are rehoming. That is a great option. Another, is to reach out to your field of friends and family and see if they or someone that they know and trust would be willing to take this animal companion on. Just because they are not a good fit at your house doesn't mean that their forever home can't be right around the corner. I think this is a better option when one is struggling with the idea of keeping a home a pet in their home. If you or the other animals in your house are significantly impacted in a negative way by having this pet there, you are not doing the animal any favors by keeping it. Sometimes we may just be the stepping stone to their forever situation. I think it takes some courage and a lot of humility to recognize when there is a poor fit. It is not a failure to recognize what you can and cannot offer to an animal companion. After all, they deserve to be in the very best situation just as much as you do.
Whatever you decide to do, set yourself free from the guilt. Beating yourself up and making you yourself feel terrible for surrendering an animal is silly. So long as you know that you have done the best you can with the information that you have, there is no reason for regrets.