It is an awful situation to be in when you need to decide whether to give up a dog, a decision that must be considered very carefully. A decision I have had to make myself.


If you are considering this option, please ask yourself:
Have I done everything I possibly can?
Am I the best thing for my dog?
Is the current situation fair on them?


If you decide rehoming is your best option, you have two choices; either find someone you know who is willing to take in your pup or you will have to apply to a rehoming centre.

There are many breed specific rehoming organisations, along with the better-known centres such as Dogs Trust, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and the RSPCA. Do your research and decide which is the best option for you and your dog.

A few important things I learnt about rehoming centres:

  • Your dog will have to undergo an assessment to see if they are suitable to be helped/rehomed within the centre. This generally will include a questionnaire to gather information about your situation and dog. Followed by them meeting the dog at the centre and finally a trial with them staying in the centre.
  • Homes will very rarely be able to take your dog in straight away, and you may have to wait a few months before they even have time to assess them.
  • Upon giving your dog to a centre you generally relinquish all ties with the dog and can’t just get them back if you change your mind.
  • Just because one home won’t take them, doesn’t mean another won’t.

In the devastating situation that you have exhausted all rehoming options and the dog can’t be rehomed, which should only be due to them being a danger to themselves or others you may need to make the decision for them to be put down.

I was in this position. I vividly remember the heart wrenching phrase it is the “safest and kindest thing to do”, this was told to me by every rehoming centre I contacted. My heart was and still is completely shattered but I know the decision was right.

I had a 10-month-old working Cocker spaniel, Louis. From 3 months of age he showed signs of aggression. I tried everything I could, initially trying to help him myself, I soon sort after a behaviourist, and then another… He had veterinary examinations, and by a process of elimination was diagnosed with a condition called rage syndrome. He was the sweetest, smartest and simply the best companion I could have asked for. Until his eyes would change and he would just attack, he was very unsettled and easily reactive, but just as fast as it came it would be gone again and he would be the playful puppy he was before. Over those 7 short months these outbursts became more frequent and intense. I knew I was out of my depth and it wasn’t fair on him.

I am proud of the decision I made – it was not easy, but I know it was the best thing for Louis. I will forever remember the lovely times we spent together.

Everyone’s situation is different, and it will never be easy, but you must do what is best for the dog, as heart breaking as will be for you.

Alice Trott

1 Comment

  1. Carmen November 1, 2019

    That was such a touching article! I can’t begin to imagine the heartache rehoming a dog would bring! Thank you for sharing your experience, wisdom and guidance on such a difficult matter.

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