Why returning pets is okay.

FINALLY. It’s Friday. Honestly, this week has dragged itself along. Perhaps it felt this way because I wasn’t able to visit a shelter. I’m going to go with that. Anyways, I have an interesting (controversial?) piece to share with you today. It may not be the popular opinion (when have I ever been popular?) but, I believe that returning a pet to a shelter is okay, and sometimes, a good thing. Before you click off, hear me out.

A couple of weeks ago, I met a dog named Lyric. She’s an adorable, spunky little girl who loves, loves people. She was with her new mom Jennifer who couldn’t stop gushing over her. I mean, I can totally see why, Lyric is adorable. What I didn’t expect to learn, however, was that Lyric had previously been adopted and returned to Hinsdale Humane Society.

While Jennifer didnn’t know all the details, Lyric was returned because she had too much energy and wasn’t housebroken. I quickly agreed that little Lyric was full of spunk and wanted to run and play as much as possible. As Jennifer spoke about Lyric, it became clear to me how she was meant to be part of Jennifer’s family. She was the perfect addition and I could feel how much she loved her. In that moment, I was thankful that Lyric had been returned.

We always want to believe that when someone adopts a dog, it will be forever. In a perfect world, it would be, but, this isn’t a perfect world and things happen. It’s extremely difficult to know how a dog is going to behave in your home environment. For example, a shy, nervous dog can become a rambunctious puppy once settled. Similarly, cats that are comfortable in their cages can become reclusive in homes. It’s hard to know after a handful of minutes whether a pet is going to be a perfect.

I can’t imagine the heartbreak and pain of giving an animal back. For the most part, I don’t believe it’s an easy choice to make. Of course, there are exceptions and there are people who shouldn’t have adopted in the first place, but from the stories I’ve heard, it’s a gut-wrenching decision. One that is made because someone realizes, in the long run, it’s not a good fit for the dog.

It can be easy to judge people for giving up their pets, but I choose to focus on the good it does for the animal. For example, getting a dog out of the shelter, even if just for one night, can have a dramatic effect on their stress levels. Plus, by getting a dog into a home, you can have a better sense of its personality. As animals begin to settle, they become more of themselves. You find out what they like and what they don’t. It becomes easier to understand in what sort of environment they would do best.

Nobody wants to see a pet returned, but it’s important to remember that in the end, it’s more important to find the best home rather than just a home. If someone kept an animal out of guilt, that wouldn’t be the best situation for either the person or the pet. It’s always, always, about finding the best match possible for all parties involved. Just like little Lyric found her perfect forever home.

If you want to support dogs like Lyric and Sampson, check out Hinsdale Humane Society’s Gala on November 3. Buy your tickets here! Psst: I’ll be there!


Sampson – This handsome boy is happily in his forever home. He is a gentle giant and is what my dream dog is made of! If you’re looking for a dog similar to Sampson, check out Mulligan, hubba hubba.

Lyric – As you know, she’s spoken for(!) but here is a little Cleo who is too stinking cute.


I bought this two piece in California and while it’s time to put this baby in the closet, you can shop a similar look below (on sale!).

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All photos: Margaret Rajic


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2 thoughts on “Why returning pets is okay.”

    1. Absolutely. I wish everyone would really, truly consider what it means to have a pet before adopting one! I also believe returning a pet should be the last option 🙂

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