Finding a New Home for Your Alaskan Malamute
Special thanks to The Chow Chow Club, Inc. Welfare Committee for giving permission to reproduce and adapt their booklet, How to Find a New Home For Your Chow for use by the Alaskan Malamute Protection League (Note: AMPL was dissolved in 2000)
Not that long ago, you were thrilled to have an Alaskan Malamute puppy of your very own. You never dreamed you'd have to give him up someday. Even if you can't keep him any more, your dog still depends on you to do what's best for him, just like he depended on you when he was a puppy. Now, more than ever, he needs you to make the right choices for his future.
Throughout this article we are going to be direct and honest with you. Your dog is your responsibility. He has no one else but you to look out for his interests. It will take effort, patience and persistence to find him the right home. He deserves your best efforts.
Finding a new home involves several steps. Before you start, there are some important things you should know.
About Animal Shelters
Shelters and humane societies were created to care for stray and abused animals. They weren't meant to be a drop-off for people who don't want their pets anymore. Shelters, on average, take in 100 new animals or more each day. Let's face it - there won't be enough good homes for all of them. Even the best shelters can't boast much more than a 50% adoption rate. Only the youngest, friendliest, cutest and best-behaved dogs are going to be adopted.
By law, stray pets must be kept several days for their owners to reclaim them. They may not be destroyed until that period is up. Dogs given up by their owners aren't protected by these laws. They may be destroyed at any time. Shelters don't want to kill all these animals but they don't have a choice. There just isn't enough room for all of them. Shelters today are so overcrowded that your dog could be killed the same day it arrives.
Being purebred won't help your dog's chances of adoption either - almost half of the dogs in many shelters are purebreds. Because some people are afraid of Alaskan Malamutes, some shelters will not put them up for adoption at all. Your dog may be as good as dead when it walks in the door. If your Alaskan Malamute is old, has health problems or has a poor attitude toward strangers, its chances of adoption are slim to none.
Sending your dog to a shelter in hopes that he'll find a good home is wishful thinking. It's more likely that you'll be signing your Alaskan Malamute's death warrant. A shelter is your last resort only after all your best efforts have failed.
About No-Kill Shelters and Breed Rescue services
True "no-kill" shelters are few and far between. Obviously, no one wants to see their pet killed so the demand for no-kill shelter services is high. So high that they're forced to turn away many pets because they don't have room for them all. Sometimes they have to choose only the most adoptable dogs to work with.
Breed Rescue services are small, private, shelter-like groups run by volunteers dedicated to a particular breed. Most of them operate out of the volunteer's home. Like no-kill shelters, demand for their services is high, so high that your dog may be turned away for lack of room. A breed rescue can still help you place your dog by providing referrals to persons interested in adopting your dog. You will have the most success if you follow the rescue service's advice and are willing to do your share of the work to find a new home.