Family Wants Second Chance With Their Dog

BaileyA Niagara Falls family is hoping that another family that adopted their golden retriever will have a change of heart.

In February, the Pascente family turned in their 6-year-old dog, Bailey, to the humane society. He was then adopted by another family. That family then brought back Bailey to the shelter.

The Pascente family was excited when they saw that Bailey was up for adoption on the humane society’s website. They felt like they had made a mistake of giving him up and they wanted to readopt him.

When the family rushed to the shelter to adopt Bailey, they were told that they couldn’t readopt Bailey because he didn’t seem to be a priority for them. Also, the humane society said they have a policy of not returning animals to their original owners. The Pescante family said that they were not aware of this policy.

From Guelph Mercury:

Don Horvath, an inspector with the humane society in Niagara Falls, said they don’t tell people dropping off a pet they aren’t allowed to reapply for ownership, unless they ask.

“It’s hard enough without a person having to think about never seeing the pet again. I don’t think it’s an appropriate conversation to have with them,” Horvath said.

The family pleaded with the inspector and brought pictures of Bailey to show that he was a priority. The humane society decided to put the family second on the wait list for Bailey.

On Saturday, Bailey was adopted by another family. The Pescante family has called the humane society numerous times and hopes that the dog’s new family will come forward after hearing their story.

Horvath said when the Pascentes initially turned their dog over to the humane society, the reason given was they didn’t have time for it, plus an aunt was moving in.

“Typically we would not even accept an application from people who turn their pets in, but we did add the family to the list,” he said.

“We have to do what’s best for the animal. If it was such an important part of the family they should have worked around the issues and figured out a way to deal with it, instead of turning the dog over (to us).”

“It’s been very frustrating,” Peter [Pescante] said, “We don’t want other people to have to go through this. . . . I’ve known people who give children up for adoption who get them back.”

Animals are for life, Horvath said.

“You can’t just get rid of a pet when it’s inconvenient, but when it’s convenient you try to take it back.”

32 Responses to “Family Wants Second Chance With Their Dog”

  1. KimS says:

    It doesn’t say why they gave him up in the first place.
    Can’t blame the humane society for their rules.

  2. Mike says:

    This is a tough one.

    I agree that the HS can’t allow people to give up pets when it is not convenient just to get them back when it is convenient.

    But people also make mistakes. When they gave up the dog, they probably didn’t realize what they were giving up. And once they were without the dog, they realized how important he was to their family.

    If the HS thought the original owners were good enough to be placed as second on the list, then why not put them as first?

  3. MarySmith says:

    I live in an apartment that when I moved in years ago, allowed cats and small dogs. Then they changed their minds and made everyone either move or give up their cats and small dogs. I was forced to make a very difficult decision. (Moving would not have helped - few places allowed cats at the time) I give up my precious Tammi to my parents. I never stopped loving her! She stayed there many, many years. I think that the situation has to be taken into consideration when allowing someone to re-addopt. I did not want Tammi to have to re-adjust to life in my apartment after they AGAIN changed the rules to allow cats only, no dogs. She had another cat at my parents home to keep her company and I did not want to make Tony and Tami lonely by splitting them apart. I still do not have a cat of my own because I just can’t trust the owners of apartments not to all of a sudden change the rules again. The giving up my precious girl baby was the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do. She has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge, but I STILL love her. I’m typing this through tears even though it was almost 20 yrs ago that she passed away. She was MY baby.

    I think that if that first family wanted their dog back, they should have been allowed to have her back as long as there was no abuse issues involved.

  4. straybaby says:

    “I’ve known people who give children up for adoption who get them back”

    um, that’s a stretch and anyone who does get their children back has to go through a process. which it sounds like the HS did here. they already had an app on the dog it sounds like and it’s kinda of selfish and cold for this family to go to the press to try and get the other family to give up the dog.

    “We don’t want other people to have to go through this . . ”

    right, so HS’s should just have a revolving door that cater’s to the whim’s of pet owners? they aren’t a boarding facility.

  5. Ellie says:

    I feel like there’s a significant amount of missing information here. I’m especially wondering about the family who adopted and returned Bailey to the shelter after he was first surrendered–how long did that second family have him and why did they return him? Was it because the dog was miserable or depressed without his initial family?

    I’m also wondering when the original owners first inquired about getting Bailey back. How long was Bailey in the shelter before being adopted? Why was his original family looking through the adoption website–for a “replacement” pet? or specifically for Bailey?

    I think the humane society here acted properly. I would tend to be hardline and just tell the original owners “No way you get him back,” but it sounds as if the humane society may have felt they were sincere and so bent the rules a little, and I can’t fault them for that.

    At this point it seems that Bailey’s latest family has a perfect right to keep him without feeling guilty about it. I just wonder how the poor dog is adjusting to all this upheaval in his life.

  6. dog collar addict says:

    talk about fickle dog owners! i wouldn’t give the dog back to them either!!

  7. Rose says:

    This is the policy of most humane rescue shelters I know of in my area. It is incredibly hard on a pet once they have been given up from their homes… they sit and mope.

    Cats who are returned have a dificult time and sometimes they can get so depressed that they won’t interact with people and exhibit a different personality in a confined space, such as they loved kids and miss them but in a shelter they won’t interact and be grumpy. Who can blame them, pets went from having love, room to run and play in and someone to interact with, windows to look out of and people conforts like beds and sofas along with the delightful smells that come from a kitchen to a situation where they are in a confined space with limited interaction and sensory stimulation.

    It’s a depressing thing to be helping at the shelter when a pet in returned. Sometimes it when pets are at a certain age and people don’t want to take care of an older pet, or even when people want a different breed. How sad for the pet to be thought of as a throw away part of a person’s life.

    Another sad thing at the shelter is when a pet owner dies and family brings in a pet. Please, if you’re reading this, make arrangements in your will or living trust for your pet! Designate a seccession of several people who like the pet and the pet has liked to be that pet’s ‘owners’, so that if life complications make it impossible for one person to take the pet another is available.

  8. JH says:

    It says in the article that the reason the family gave for giving up their dog was that an aunt was coming to live with them and they didn’t have time for the dog. Sorry, but that’s just weak. I wouldn’t return the dog to the family. I hope the new owners keep him. You don’t give up an animal because the timing isn’t convenient. The man’s remarks about children being given up and then returned to family show his true mindset on this issue. As one poster already said, it’s not a boarding facility until your life gets less hectic. This dog deserves a stable home life. I doubt seriously the original family is capable of giving him that.

  9. Sandy says:

    The family gave up their rights to this dog when they gave him to the Humane Society. They didn’t have time for him, and he wasn’t a priority. Now they seem to have time for him, but how long will that last? What if he has an accident in the house? Will they get rid of him again? What if another aunt needs to move in, or if they decide to move? They shouldn’t get that dog back, and shouldn’t be allowed to adopt any others.

  10. NH says:

    My heart goes out to Bailey. I hope Bailey can find a home that will love him and spoil him forever and ever……till his last days on earth. He deserves that.

  11. Katie says:

    I feel sorry for Bailey and hope he finds a forever home. The original family treated him like a ping pong ball. Would be interesting to know why the second family gave him up - perhaps the first family didn’t train and care for him properly.

    Shelters and rescue groups need families that don’t treat shelters and rescue like boarding homes. We’d like a dog or cat for a few days, throw them out for awhile, than want them back again for a few days…. Shelters and rescue need homes that take responsibility for and respect animals.


  12. HighNote says:

    I feel sorry for Bailey too but will the humane society put him under rather then give him back to them.. This is what I wonder. They should have never gave him up and they really did not say why but since there are so many unwanted animals in this world I feel this is a bad policy because people can make a mistake. Now if they gave him up the second time around then i would say no.. It is always possible that he barked too much or they were all gone too much. There are many reasons that they felt they should give him up. but when they missed him that is the important thing here and like I said there are so many unwanted animals and he would be better off with the orignal family that he has grown to love then to have to start over again or possible die.

  13. Dawn says:

    I side with the shelter on this. The owners make it sound like such an ordeal they are going through, has their been any thought of the ordeal Bailey is going through?

    I know people who have surrendered a pet to the shelter who tell the shelter, “if you can’t find a home for him, let us know and we will come back and get him” as if the shelter is a matchmaking service. I can’t even imagine doing this. My pets are my life and giving them up would never be so easy.

  14. kristy says:

    My mother did this with one of our dogs growing up and it was devastating. She checked back with the pound and got her back before she was put to sleep. I wouldn’t have given the dog back to her, but as a child, I was certainly glad the pound let us take her back. However, that was a bit different situation… no one wanted this dog. If anyone had, I’m fairly confident my mother wouldn’t have gotten her back. It’s really sad how dispensable people consider animals.

  15. Sandy says:

    I am not the Sandy above but wanted to say myself I have mixed feelings. I wish I knew more of the story and that the old family if they COULD have their dog back would have to be monitored forever if they got the dog back. I can’t see me giving ANY of my pets up.,…..I wont judge these people …I just hope this dog gets a good forever home and the DOG is happy the rest of its life

  16. Sonya says:

    This is a very personal issue for me. I had to give up a cat once because I moved from a large house to small apartment and my poor kitty was MISERABLE. I tried for months to make it work and he was just miserable. So I ended up re-homing him with a family that had a big house and lots of kids for him to play with. They still send me updates on him and by all accounts he’s doing GREAT. But it took months of nerve wracking searching to find him the right home and eventually I got help from a purebred rescue where I ended up adopting another cat who was older and OK with living indoors in an apartment.

    I was treated like DIRT for wanting to give up my kitty. I was told how irresponsible I was, what a terrible person I was, etc. Never mind that I was doing it for HIS happiness. no shelter would take him, I was treated worse than a child abuser when I loved my cat and was trying to do what was best for him! I wonder how many pets end up abandoned on the street because owners turn to shelters to get help and get treated like crap. Pet owners know that ‘animals are forever’ but you know what? most people aren’t independently wealthy and say you lose your job and have to move in with a cousin or sister or family member who refuses to take the pet, or you need to move from an apt that allows pets to one that doesn’t? Sometimes people have to make hard choices, and people who need to give up pets shouldn’t be treated like criminals because of it. That only means that they won’t go to shelters for help and the animal could end up abandoned or worse.

    Because of my experience I’ll never go to a shelter to adopt ever again. I will continue to adopt from private rescues like the one I adopted from, in fact I now foster animals for that rescue, but I’ll never deal with a shelter again. By having that kind of arrogant self righteous attitude they hurt animals, not help them.

  17. Thel Josenhans says:

    frankly……. Mr. Peter Pescante ……… you & your wife actied like two fools , Do you know , what poor Baily went threw ??? , if the people at , the Humane Society…….. got him a good home , you should be grateful , Baily , wasn’t put to death , that dog , would have gave up , his life , for you , ” YOU BETRAYED HIM ” , YOU don’t , know , that animals can think , feel , YOU BOTH , have broke His heart , no , there is no excuse , for what you did , ….. to Bailey , you , didn’t just make a mistake , He isn’t a (THING ) , Baily ……..has a heart , soul , mind , you crushed that in Him , He will have to learn to trust people again , it won’t be easy , thanks to you. I hope you really think about Baily… & not , poor you , He is better off, with out , the likes of you. I have two dogs , 3 cats , we are 75 & 80 , bad health , but , would sleep , under a bridge , then give them up , if our time , is to a end , we made plans , for our son , to take them . they are little people , who speak a different , but , have more …. HEART……. & COURAGE , then ……… you , will ever have. I know , our Lord ……must , really be proud of you . I think , you should , get down , on your knees , pray, thank God , Baily wasn’t put to sleep , for your , so called , MISTAKE , & your INCONVIENICT , THANK THE HUMANE SOCIETY , for seeing , what kind of parents , you were to BAILEY, & not giving Him back.
    THEL…….. FL.

  18. Donna says:

    He was not important to them the first time.I “question their motives.This dog is NOT a toy.

  19. Sonya says:

    Does all this extreme judgment extend to humans too? When someone gives up a baby do you think that they should never, ever be allowed to have children because they gave one up? Do you think that parents who don’t want their kids should be sterilized so that they can never ever have kids again?

    I’m surprised it never occurred to anyone that Bailey might be happiest back with his family, where he had lived for so many years. But don’t let the dog’s happiness get in the way of being judgmental or anything…..

  20. Ellie says:

    Sonya says:
    Does all this extreme judgment extend to humans too? When someone gives up a baby do you think that they should never, ever be allowed to have children because they gave one up? Do you think that parents who don’t want their kids should be sterilized so that they can never ever have kids again?

    When someone gives up a baby, they sure shouldn’t be able to get that same baby back when it’s more convenient for them!

    If I were making the decision, I would think long and hard about letting people who surrendered an animal adopt another one. The burden of proof would be on them to show me why they should be trusted to care for another animal. But that’s not the issue here–I didn’t see anything indicating that the people who surrendered Bailey are barred from ever adopting another pet. They want their same pet back–one they’ve already given up, who is now in another home.

    Sonya says:
    I’m surprised it never occurred to anyone that Bailey might be happiest back with his family, where he had lived for so many years. But don’t let the dog’s happiness get in the way of being judgmental or anything…..

    It did occur to me, which is why I’d like to know if Bailey was surrendered the second time because he was miserable and unable to adjust. The poor dog is in his third home now, and if the people who have him now can make the adoption work, they shouldn’t be guilted into returning him. They deserve a chance with this dog that they’ve opened their home and hearts to.

  21. straybaby says:

    Sonya, they are trying to bully the new family into giving Baily to them by going to the media. And we’re not supposed to judge them after they put the story out there? tad far fetched expectations there . . .

    I’m sorry you were judged when you rehomed your cat, but part of that would be how many adult cats do NOT make it out of shelters. You should be thankful they did judge you and you found a home for your cat. But also keep in mind, people are judging the family in this story, not you. And obviously not everyone judges everyone who gives up a pet with the same brush. You were given the opportinity to adpot from a rescue, which are many times stricter than shelters because they can be. Maybe the judgement (guilt) is on you, not everyone else.

  22. JH says:

    Well said, straybaby. In response to Sonya’s situation, there are many places where the comparison between the two stories breaks down. Firstly, Sonya did not decide after giving up her cat that she wanted the animal back, did she? Secondly, she did not attempt to use the media to make the adoptive family feel guilty about keeping the cat, did she? I’m sorry, but I find this family’s attitude to be despicable. I pray the family Bailey is with now does not return him to them!! He deserves happiness - and yes, I think most posters here understand that and are indeed thinking of his happiness here.

  23. Sonya says:

    In response to one of the answers, the shelters didn’t find a home for my cat, *I* did.
    The shelters I talked to (five, in all) refused to help me. But if he had been abandoned in the street they would have helped him. I loved him so I took the time and trouble to interview families and check backgrounds and do home visits and all of that before placing him somewhere else, but the shelters wouldn’t do anything to help at all.

    Personally I would never abandon my animals but I can understand how someone in desperate circumstance that tries to get help and is refused help by an arrogant self righteous person who supposedly wants to help animals would end up abandoning the animal, because if it’s abandoned then it can get help that it can’t get if an owner tries to surrender it. It’s a very screwed up system.

    The rescue that I ended up adopting from really DOES care about animals, and they will take any animal, even one surrendered by an owner, because they know that something things happen that make it necessary and they would rather take an animal from an owner that doesn’t want it or can’t care for it than have it abandoned on the street. THAT is what people do who care about animals. They care more about helping the animal than punishing the owner.

  24. straybaby says:

    “an arrogant self righteous person”

    ummm, pot, meet kettle?

    “but the shelters wouldn’t do anything to help at all”

    what did you expect them to do? they couldn’t/wouldn’t take in your pet. I don’t know the situation with the shelters there, but no shelter is obligated to take in every animal that an owner wants to bring in. the space is not there. municiple shelters will and have policies to take in all animals. they are generally high kill though. if you had that option, you didn’t go that route (lucky for your kitty!). so that leaves the other option, YOU, the pet owner needs to re-home the pet themselves. that’s how things work. period. yes, some rescues will help an owner place the pet, but many times the owner must keep the pet until a home is found. most rescues do NOT have spare foster space for all the owners that want rescues to “save their babies!”. in fact it’s not common for rescues to take *IN* owner surrenders for that reason. and for every owner surrender they take in, a death row pet loses foster space. so before you go condeming all other rescues and shelters and saying they don’t care about animals, you might want to get a grip on the real world of homeless pets.

  25. Sonya says:

    I have a very good grip on the world of homeless pets, I am a foster parent for a rescue remember? The same rescue that did help me re-home my cat. Private rescues are great, animal shelters are worthless. I even offered to make $1,000 donation to the shelter and to pay for my cat’s care while finding him another home. The rescue I work for now got that money.

    And the rescue I work with now takes in owner surrenders all the time, so some groups do take owner surrenders. We would rather take the animal no questions asked than have it stay in a home where it’s not wanted or cared for. Unlike shelters, we don’t care about punishing the owner, we just want to protect the animal.

    But shelter people and crazy judgmental self righteous people like you make animal rights a joke, and are responsible for more animal abandonment and deaths because of your attitudes. I feel sorry for the pets who will die or end up abandoned because of some people get off on punishing pet owners rather than helping pets.

  26. Sonya says:

    And having an owner re-home a pet is dangerous. I actually took the time to do background checks and such, but most people won’t. So how many animals will end up in worse situations because people don’t know what to ask or how to identify people who might end up abusing their animal?

    Animal adoptions from shelters have an application process for a reason. So now you’re saying that owners who are not trained or qualified to identify good adoptive prospects should take responsibility for find a new home for their pet?

    Yeah, that’s really protecting the animal.

  27. KarlaSanDiego says:

    Bailey deserves better. they should have never given him up in the first place.

  28. straybaby says:

    you’re pretty darn “crazy judgmental self righteous yourself” and way off base.

    glad you work for a rescue and know all about the situation from their point of view. must not have many owner surrenders there because the amount of wanna be OS’s I see in the city and on the National lists is not something shelters or rescues could keep up with. ya know, that little overpopulation problem we have . . . if all rescues had the space and money, that still wouldn’t stop all the killing. how dare you blame shelter deaths on the shelter workers. does your rescue pull off the euth list daily/weekly? got a link? I would love to see who they are and how they can operate that they can be taking in OS’s all the time . . . . Do all OS’s cough up a grand? or any $$$?

  29. Ellie says:

    Sonya says:
    The shelters I talked to (five, in all) refused to help me. But if he had been abandoned in the street they would have helped him. I loved him so I took the time and trouble to interview families and check backgrounds and do home visits and all of that before placing him somewhere else, but the shelters wouldn’t do anything to help at all.

    So? He was your pet and your responsibility. Why SHOULDN’T you have put in the time and effort instead of expecting a shelter to use its limited resources to solve your problem?

    The shelter should be the last resort, not the first. An animal found in the street has no one else, so, yeah, the shelter should make that animal a priority. Your pet had someone–you–and you did find a home for him. That’s a happy ending, so why the great animosity toward shelters?


    Sonya says:
    The rescue that I ended up adopting from really DOES care about animals, and they will take any animal, even one surrendered by an owner, because they know that something things happen that make it necessary and they would rather take an animal from an owner that doesn’t want it or can’t care for it than have it abandoned on the street. THAT is what people do who care about animals. They care more about helping the animal than punishing the owner.

    And sometimes shelters get sob stories and empty justifications and outright lies from people who simply find their pet suddenly inconvenient and cry crocodile tears as they surrender their “precious” pet. And sometimes maybe they just get tired of irresponsible, careless owners and start to be skeptical and angry. And sure, sometimes there maybe there are real, valid reasons for a surrender, but most of the time, the owners are being selfish and irresponsible, and the pets are paying the price.

  30. mittens says:

    i had a rather miraculous situation with 2 cats who an ex roommate dropped of in front of a humane society shelter(a kill shleter) in a cardboard box when they were open.

    i had lived with the 2 cats for years and the roommate took them of course when she moved out. a few months later a mutual friend called and said this person was now going to get rid of the cats because she couldn’t afford them anymore( pure BS. she was the trust fund brat of a psychiatrist and a lawyer). i offered to take the cats because i loved them or to pay for their keep if she wanted. she refused. i eventualy begged her to give me the cats- i even offered to pay her for them. nope. she was going to dump them at a shelter and wouldn’t say which one. cruel manipulative B.

    when she was known to have dropped them , i got a group of friends armed with photos to fan out to all the shelters. they were found and the shelter believed my story- that i had been desperately trying to save the cats for months and was not the person who so casually dropped them outside. they took me at my word-which i never expected. these 2 cats, one of whom is still with me, have been the loves of my life. everyday i feel so lucky to have saved them. one persons act of senseless, selfish cruelty lead to over 17 years of living with the greatest cats in the world.

    i adopted my torties from a private cat rescue that does not kill. i cast a leary eye on the big name shelters NOT THEIR WORKERS. in giving me the cats they violated some of their adoption rules( like landlord ok) because they believed it was in the cats’ best interests to be with someone who went all out to save them, someone with whom they lived, someone who loved them.( they were also adult cats not kittens-not as adoptable.) they made it so this person who abandoned them could never adopt a pet in this state which i feel is only fitting. i feel their actions were in the cats not my best interests . i broke down and cried when the person who found them brought them home the same day.

    sin in haste, as they say, repent a leisure. i have personally taken in pets from people whose living situations demanded the most heart wrenching sacrafices. i do not blame them. however in other situations it seems people view animals as disposable at their whim and likewise at their whim to recollect. my understanding is you sign over all rights to the animal, who is legally your possession, when a shelter takes them. what part of that do they not understand?

  31. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Bailey, the Pascente family pet, was *6* years old when he was handed off to the shelter. The family pet they’d had for years! The Pascente family forfeited legal ownership of their dog in February and he belongs to/with someone else now. The dog’s legal adopters - his new family - don’t deserve to be harassed and have newspaper articles written about them because of the Pascente family!!!

    IMO, the shelter behaved nobly, the Pascentes were wrong to give up on the dog in the first place, and I think it’s EXTREMELY inappropriate that they would use the local media to try to pressure the dog’s current *legal owners* to give him up. Ick.

  32. DonOtt says:

    What an absolute crock of BS this Pascente family is. BOO HOO BOO HOO, we made a mistake. After 6 years??? Sorry, my sympathy meter is pinned at ZERO!!!

    A dog is a warm loving member of a family and does not get to be treated as trash to be thrown out just because he/she doesn’t fit in with some misguided family’s plans. I am the owner of a rescued dog, and a Golden at that! The family gave him away because he was not fitting in with their lifestyle, and they wanted to be able to visit us and stay in contact to see how he was doing. If they were so interested in his welfare they should have kept him and loved him.

    I feel nothing but contempt for these people for what they put the HS through, what they are trying to put the new owners through, and especially for what they put Bailey through. Hang your head in shame and get on with your life and leave Bailey and the new owners alone. You don’t deserve to be pet owners.

    Thank God they didn’t decide to have poor Bailey put down. Kinda hard to get him back then, isn’t it?

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