The fake story of the puppy thrown from a bridge into the Rock River in Janesville gained attention throughout the stateline. Some shocked at the lie, but most just glad the furry friend did not actually suffer through the ordeal.
“It’s hard to know that in our community we have to make up stories to get a dog relinquished in a safe place,” said Good Shepherd Animal Sanctuary president Nikki Gratz. “Unfortunately, if people are giving up a dog they usually don’t have the finances to take care of the dog.”
It’s a common feeling among animal lovers. They say if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t keep your pet, it’s best to be honest when seeking help.
“I really kind of felt bad because you don’t have to go to those extremes to release your animal to a shelter,” said Winnebago County Animal Services Adoption Coordinator Donna Apgar. “The best thing to do is open and honest with the shelter.”
Apgar adds this isn’t the first time she has heard of an unusual story from owners trying to surrender a pet. “We do hear a lot of crazy stories. We always encourage people to not get to the desperate point where you feel like you have to do something like that.”
Paula Copper is the founder of A Promise Of Love Animal Rescue. She says they have had first hand experience with people fabricating stories. “The same thing happened here in Beloit with one of our dogs we took into rescue. They wanted to get rid of the dog and ended up taking it to the west side of town, calling animal control, saying that they found the dog.”
Copper adds if you find yourself struggling with the costs of owning a dog, to seek resources from rescues. “If people can’t afford their dogs or they’re having a hard time, they should reach out to rescues because nine times out of ten rescues are going to back them up and help them financially.”
Gratz says if you absolutely know you can’t afford your pet any longer, to make sure to take the correct steps to help find the animal a new home. “A lot of them will waive the fee. No one wants to see the dog be harmed or hurt, dropped off or have to go through an elaborate story to get a dog in a safe haven.”
Whether a surrender fee is required depends on the agency. Volunteers say before anything, you should call and ask if you need any kind of help with your pet.