Our position statements define where we stand on topics within the animal welfare community. Our actions strive to support our position statements at all times.
Unadoptable Dog Policy
Pets Return Home does not believe any dog is “unadoptable.” Rather, there are dogs with special needs that require guardians with the management skills to maintain safety and happy companionship.
Canine Aggression Policy
Every dog deserves humane and respectful treatment regardless of its past behavior. Each dog merits an accurate behavioral evaluation and the opportunity for modification, compassion and acceptance. Anything less is unacceptable.
If a dog, with no provocation, inflicts a serious injury on a human or other animal, proper management techniques are necessary. Proper treatment includes non-lethal remedies such as muzzling, proven behavior modification and compassionate confinement. Pets Return Home promotes rehabilitating any dog with aggression issues.
Countless reasons exist as to why a dog can display aggression. The dog does not choose to be broken; hence, no reason exists that is under the dog’s control. He is a product, actually a victim, of his human environment. We use specific management strategies at our facility to transform the dog’s behavior to sustain permanent adoption.
Pets Return Home will exhaust every option available for a ‘broken’ dog before agreeing to a kill action. If death is determined as the most safe and humane course of action, Pets Return Home will ensure a person who is familiar with the dog will be present at the time of the procedure. We will guide the unfortunate dog over the bridge.
Behavior Modification and Training
Pets Return Home saves lives and builds families primarily through behavior training, management and command training. We use respect, modeling, socializing, correction, exercise, quarantine, and other humane practices to reset and reshape a dog from unadoptable to adoptable. No one training strategy or tactic is a solution for success. Each dog, depending upon its history, temperament, psychological makeup and behavior, will require a unique, specialized training program. The training must be repeatable so new guardians can use the same methods to communicate and cohabitate successfully with their canine companion.
Pets Return Home does not stand behind training methods that use excessive force or cause pain. There are, however, some practices that cause discomfort that may be acceptable in specific scenarios. We use the appropriate method of training to ensure people and dogs remain safe with the objective of increasing the number of life-long adoptions.
Pets Return Home believes that nursing moms should remain with their puppies and not be separated due to a matter of convenience. The healthy development of the puppies is dependent upon a present mother. If the mother is taken away, experience shows these puppies often end up in shelters and are euthanized due to the lack of options available. We work hard to avoid these scenarios. Pets Return Home has dedicated facilities for whelping and pediatrics, and equal effort should be spent in placing these animals in loving homes.
Pets Return Home is opposed to the practice of physically “debarking” dogs and deems it unacceptable. There are behavioral methods that work to reduce extensive barking. Remember, dogs bark for a reason. They are communicating a message and removing their vocal cords takes away their ability to express themselves. When implementing debarking, there is no opportunity to resolve the underlying causes behind the repetitive barking such as insecurity, anxiety, boredom, etc. Other behaviors may manifest themselves when the dog’s ability to bark is removed. This procedure should never be used as a method to control barking.
Sterilization (Spay/Neuter) Policy
Any family adopting or fostering a dog from or for Pets Return Home must understand that we have specific guidelines for successful adoption or fostering. To qualify for adoption or foster, an applicant must complete and pass an application review and have a household with sterilized dogs only.
Statistically, 50% of all dogs, purebred and mixed-breed arriving in shelters are killed. This does not count the number of dogs that are killed upon arrival to a shelter because of injury, aggression or illness. Shelters cannot handle the influx of dogs they see daily. Animal rescue organizations (ARO’s) do their best to help pull healthy dogs and rehome them to responsible, stable and loving homes. The only way to stop the number of dogs euthanized killed is to educate the public about the importance of sterilizing their dogs and to stop careless breeding.
One of Pets Return Home’s goals is to inform and educate the public in the overpopulation crisis. Pets Return Home stands firm on requiring sterilization of all dogs in the potential adoption or foster household before we approve an adoption or foster care situation.
Some people are unaware of the unwanted overpopulation crisis we are experiencing due to unaltered dogs. Others may feel they are responsible, will not breed their pet, or prefer to keep their dog in a ‘natural’ state.
We ascertain the reason(s) a potential adopter or foster has a non-sterilized dog. If it is within our guidelines, we will discuss the situation, determine if there are verifiable and justifiable reasons and approve the home for adoption or foster status based upon our findings. Some of the common exceptions to our guidelines include:
- The dog is AKC registered and being actively shown for their championship
- Pets Return Home will respect the owner’s right to breed a dog only if the dog has obtained its AKC championship and the person is a responsible breeder who breeds to ‘better the breed’ and who does not over-breed.
- The dog has health issues where sterilization is not recommended.
- The dog is too young (< 6 months) to be neutered.
We hear many people say they do not spay or neuter their pet for many reasons. Spaying and neutering does not make an animal gain weight or lazy. Once sterilization occurs, hormones decrease and the dog becomes calmer. By maintaining a consistent and challenging exercise program, all dogs hold a healthy weight and attitude. Males become more tolerant, reduce their aggressive episodes and have very little desire to roam. Spaying and neutering greatly reduces the risk of cancer in the female, (uterine and mammary) as well as pyometra, a serious infection of the uterus, and in the male greatly reduces the chance of testicular cancer. The younger the dog is neutered the lower the risk of these diseases.
Please understand that our goal is to adopt or foster all dogs to or in homes that support the importance of breaking the cycle of unwanted pets. Adopting or fostering a dog with us not only carries the responsibility of doing the best for the dog, but also joining a community of people committed to reducing the unnecessary killing of healthy adoptable dogs.
If there is any doubt to the overpopulation issue, a visit to any shelter should be sufficient to educate the overpopulation crisis problem we face. Ask the shelter how many dogs come in daily and how many dogs are killed weekly.
This experience will increase your awareness of the problem we face as moral individuals respecting all life.