When Happily-Ever-After Doesn't Happen

By Skye Baker, MaxFund Dog Volunteer

At MaxFund we celebrate when our dogs and cats leave the shelter on the way to forever homes. Sadly, just as other animals get relinquished to MaxFund, sometimes MaxFund adoptions do not end happily ever after as expected. Days, months, or even years after a MaxFund pet is adopted that dog or cat may return to MaxFund. The good news is that we always accept MaxFund animals back into the shelter and continue to do our best to provide for them and find them a new home.

We have mixed emotions when MaxFund pets are returned. Of course, we are happy to see our furry friends again, but it is disappointing to have a MaxFund dog or cat come back from what we thought was their forever home. Some are happy to see us and are instantly comfortable in the routine and safety of the shelter again. Others are confused to be in the shelter after thinking they had a home and a family that loved them. We get upset, too, that things did not work out for them, but we are always willing to take them back if necessary.

There are many reasons that a MaxFund pet isn’t able to stay in their new home. We may get a call from a family worried that they cannot handle a situation when their new dog starts misbehaving. Animals sometimes can be special cases that take extra time and demand extra effort as they transition to a new home. Some animals get dropped off when changes in life circumstances leave a family unable to support their pets or provide a home anymore. Medical issues can also become costly and overwhelming to provide the level of care their pet deserves. We see people who are deeply upset that the dog they fell in love with and tried to make part of their family just isn’t working out. These can be difficult decisions, and we do not want our animals or their families to live anything but a happy life.

At MaxFund we support our animals beyond the shelter. We try to offer training, pet food, or medical assistance. We encourage, educate, and assist MaxFund families so they have the best chance of success with their newly adopted dog or cat. Even if a family does not use all the resources we have to offer, we are still here for our furry friends and will accept a returned animal. We do not want them living in an unfavorable situation or ending up in a different shelter.

Ultimately, we want to get everything right and send MaxFund animals to the best homes we can. We want to see quality adoptions. We do our best to help solve problems and prevent returns. We can’t always change the factors that bring pets into MaxFund or back to MaxFund. We can make sure to be the positive on the other side. The bittersweet of returned animals is that things didn’t work out happily, but we can try again and find a home that will last. MaxFund is always the first choice if one of our adopted pets needs to be returned. As a No Kill shelter we are committed to each of our dogs and cats for the rest of their lives, and they’ll always have a home with us.
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