Ex-Dog Owner Angry at Family Who Renamed Dog After Adoption

Gillian Sisley

How much say should a person have in their former pet's life?

Choosing to rehome a dog is never an easy choice. It is a decision that is often made because the pet owner is unable to continue the adequate care of their dog, or their living situation does not allow for pets.

Rehoming a pet is a fairly commonplace thing these days, and one former dog owner who recently rehomed his furry friend has gone viral for what happened after his German Shepherd got adopted.

Pet adoptions were especially common during the pandemic, when there was a massive increase in dog purchases and adoptions, only for many of those pets to end up in shelters after their owners returned to their workplaces and found juggling an animal too much work.

When a new family adopts a pet, they become the main guardians who get to make decisions about the well-being of their adopted animal, while the former owner generally no longer has a say.

This can be especially difficult to come to terms with if someone had to give up their pet somewhat unwillingly, and then did not agree with the choices the new adoptive family were making.

Should the former pet owner have any say?

A Reddit post published on January 16th has gone viral with over 11,000 upvotes and close to 5,000 comments. In this post, authored by user u/10thtime, a man recounts how he put his german shepherd, Willy, up for adoption because his future stepson was allergic to dogs.

Those who choose to rehome their pets put significant effort into finding the perfect home and perfect family for their furry friend, and if they’re lucky the new family may even agree to keep in contact with the former owner so that they can stay up-to-date on their pet’s progress.

The Reddit poster went on to explain how he called to check on how his former dog was doing just before the holidays, and he heard someone calling the name "Rudy" repeatedly. When he asked who Rudy was, the adoptive family explained that they had changed Willy's name to Rudy.

In what situation should adoptive families get permission from former owners?

Approximately 6.5 million animal companions end up in shelters every year in the US, and a quarter of pets that end up in shelters have been abandoned by their owners. Stats also show that 2019 had less than a million euthanized pets. The reality is that there is an overflow of pets in shelters.

The responsibilities of a pet owner include ensuring that the pet is well-exercised, fed, treated for health requirements, kept safe and given plenty of love. As long as these requirements are met, a pet’s well-being and proper treatment is being met.

The author of the post went on to explain that after he learned the adoptive family had renamed his former dog, he became incredibly angry with them. He stated that they should have gotten his permission to change the dog's name, and after several fights over the phone and online, the adoptive family demanded the man stop harassing them, or they would report him to the police.

The author of the Reddit post is now wondering if he was in the wrong for getting angry at the adoptive family of his german shepherd for changing the dog's name without his permission.

What do you think? Should the adoptive family of the pet be able to change their name as they choose? Or should they honor the original pet owner’s name choice and leave the name be, even if they don't like it?

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