please tell me what else can I do apart from rehoming

(21 Posts)
dontevenknow Sun 26-Jan-20 11:08:26

I have two dogs living with me. They are legally my exH's dogs, but he left them living with me after the divorce (and they have been living with our family since quite young).

My circumstances keep on changing towards less and less dog friendly life. I am working full time now in an office, away from home for 12+ hours (was freelancing previously, with plenty of remote working, but the opportunities had dried up since). My oldest child got diagnosed with SEN, and it comes with a lot of extra logistics / appointments. I have to put the house on sale in a couple of months (court judgment post divorce), and it does not look like I will be able to get a mortgage on my own. It also increasingly looks like not a lot of landlords are keen to rent to a family with one income, two young children and two dogs.

The dogs don't have any serious issues - they are affectionate and socialised, with zero aggression towards people, dogs or cats. They are very active though, and become a bit destructive / hyper-agitated when locked up for long periods of time.

They have a dog walker now, but a) the hour and a half walk they get is not enough to burn all their energy b) quite honestly, I started struggling with the cost (around £500 monthly) now.

A thought of rehoming them keeps coming back to my head, as I don't think that the life I am offering them is of sufficient quality, but I feel like the worst person in the world to consider this. I am not very much a "dog person" myself, but I do like them and have a sense of responsibility towards them. Their legal owner (exH) keeps promising that he will take them to live with him once his life is sorted, but it has been three years so far and it did not happen - and he had just started a new family, so it looks even more remote now.

He does not agree to rehoming, and says I will break the childrens' hearts as they are very close to the dogs (it is true). I feel like Cruella de Vil then, but then I come home and the dogs literally scream when they see me, I spend half an hour cleaning their room and I start having thoughts again.

I don't know, is there an option for rehoming at all where I will keep contributing to the dogs' costs (say, paying for pet insurance and food costs) and the children will be able to see the dogs say once a year to ensure they are loved and looked after? Or am I dreaming it up?

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frostedviolets Sun 26-Jan-20 11:35:34

I think you are going to have to be firm with exH, explain that's it's been three years now and if he isn't able to take the dogs as promised you have to rehome them as the dog's are suffering because your circumstances have changed.

Whynosnowyet Sun 26-Jan-20 11:40:16

You need Judge Judy to get all your costs back op...
I would consider taking him to court for all they have cost you.
Then rehome them..

Geometricprince Sun 26-Jan-20 11:41:24

Surely if your xh is that bothered about the children missing the dog he'd take them himself?

I really feel for you OP, it's a difficult situation and it does sound like you just want to do right by the dogs. I think you need to put your foot down with your ex and tell him if he won't take them you will have to rehome. I hope it works out for you flowers

MrsPMT Sun 26-Jan-20 11:42:12

I agree with above. Need to be firm with exH , they are his dogs. Also the only scenario where you could rehome and children continue to see is if with a neighbour, friend or family. Have you asked around?

dontevenknow Sun 26-Jan-20 11:49:29

Thank you all. I had a couple of discussions with the ex, and I am ashamed to say I did resort to threatening that I will rehome them. The last one was yesterday (he was supposed to pick up the dogs "on January XXth", and then conveniently lost his phone / changed his number). He explained to me that he has a baby on the way and is moving abroad, has a lot on his plate, so the new dogs handover date is "YYth of May". It is always precise like this.

I can't get even child maintenance out of him, never mind dog maintenance or any contribution towards costs. I was allowed to stay in the marital home for three years, but now need to sell according to the financial order - and not sure how to restructure my life after this.

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dontevenknow Sun 26-Jan-20 11:52:20

Also the only scenario where you could rehome and children continue to see is if with a neighbour, friend or family.
Neighbours, probably not an option (everyone here already has dogs if they wanted to). Don't have any family in the UK, all friends are mainly colleagues / i.e. very busy. And I am very ashamed to ask people I know, to be honest.

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Whynosnowyet Sun 26-Jan-20 11:53:22

Make sure the dc know the ddogs going isn't your fault. Moving abroad = leaving ddogs with you - and the dc!!. Start rehoming procedures tomorrow as sad as it will be.

Dislocatedeyeballs Sun 26-Jan-20 12:00:01

There are so many situations like this and so many lonely people that would live a dog but can't actually have one there should be a service that puts people in touch with dog owners that work and the dog owners take the dog to be dogsat for the day keeping everyone happy improve everyone's life no Money involved meantal health /elderly services should do this and arrange for catteries/kennels to visit elderly or vice versa everyone's a winner surely

BiteyShark Sun 26-Jan-20 12:06:31

I do sympathise in these scenarios as this situation isn't something you can change and you are trying. Getting rentals to accept dogs is very hard. Putting all the emotional blackmail on to you whilst making excuses and contributing nothing is awful behaviour.

If you don't 'own' the dogs legally I would give your exH a date to take the dogs as agreed or you will report them as being abandoned as presumably you can't rehome. I would be very upfront with the DCs with facts and not emotion on why you can't provide for the dogs and exH has until this date to take them otherwise you need to make other arrangements.

dontevenknow Sun 26-Jan-20 12:32:14

If you don't 'own' the dogs legally I would give your exH a date to take the dogs as agreed or you will report them as being abandoned as presumably you can't rehome
That is my understanding as well - I can't rehome them if I am not the registered owner (at least not through any charity), possibly only privately?
The vets had no questions so far when I take them for vaccinations / worming etc. but after reading more I think that they actually cannot do this, they need consent from the legal owner for any treatment.

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SutterCane Sun 26-Jan-20 13:14:36

It might be worth having a chat with someone at Dog Law and getting some advice on where you stand legally with regards to ownership. There’s no single piece of evidence (such as KC registration or microchip details) that constitutes absolute proof of ownership, in a custody dispute situation various things would be taken into account to determine ownership. There’s a little bit of info if you scroll down to ‘What Determines Ownership of a Dog?’ on this page.

If you’ve been solely responsible for the dogs, both financially and in terms of day to day care, for several years then you may legally be considered their owners and therefore able to make the choice to rehome if your ex won’t take them.

dontevenknow Sun 26-Jan-20 13:23:16

Thank you @SutterCane , this is very hepful. KC registration, breeder contract, microchip, insurance and the vet registration are all in exH's name, but I have been paying all costs and providing day to day care for almost 3 years now.
I will probably give them a call tomorrow. I had no idea there is specific legislation dealing with pet ownership, my family law solicitor had never mentioned it (and it did not occur to me to formalise it at that time).

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tabulahrasa Sun 26-Jan-20 15:50:47

“I can't rehome them if I am not the registered owner (at least not through any charity)“

Yeah you can...

You just tell them - they’re your ex’s, you’ve been looking after them because he won’t coliect them, you’re not going to be able to take them with you when you move, he’s aware of that and has still not collected them.

Whynosnowyet Sun 26-Jan-20 16:08:12

Arrive at the council pound saying you found them. They will ring ex and he can deal with the whole caboodle.
Harsh but honestly op you have enough to deal with. They will go to a rescue after 7days unless ex claims them. And they will charge him £70 per day for housing them.

frostedviolets Sun 26-Jan-20 16:38:43

Arrive at the council pound saying you found them...They will go to a rescue after 7days unless ex claims them

Not quite.

Huge numbers of dogs at council pounds are actually euthanised after the 7 days are up.

They do not all go to rescue.

Battersea which acts as the pound for the entirety of London euthanises thousands of perfectly healthy dogs every year.

TheGirlFromStoryville Sun 26-Jan-20 16:44:25

Battersea which acts as the pound for the entirety of London euthanises thousands of perfectly healthy dogs every year.

Genuinely shocked at this and very saddened.

Op, your ex should either take the dogs off your hands or agree to them bring rehomed. It's the kindest thing to do in your situation.

frostedviolets Sun 26-Jan-20 17:10:39

Genuinely shocked at this and very saddened

Yes, I always cringe a bit when I see threads about the foreign rescues where the posters will comment that the dogs over there are killed not realising that although the conditions are much better, they are killed here too.

Battersea euthanises thousands and the RSPCA has had to publicly defend their high euthanasia rate at least once.
Dogs trust ASFAIK are no kill but they are very selective in the dogs they will take in.

Dog pounds in this country are under no obligation to keep after the 7 days, they can PTS and do, in huge numbers.

So be very careful where you actually rehome to OP.

Lightuptheroom Sun 26-Jan-20 17:35:51

The Cinnamon Trust helps the elderly and ill to keep their dogs, they may be able to advise if there is any similar charity for your situation

Whynosnowyet Sun 26-Jan-20 17:37:08

Dog's trust vow to not pts a healthy ddog. Bear in mind that means a healthy mind also...
Finding a private rental is difficult with dogs in tow ime..

Crispaficionado Sun 26-Jan-20 18:17:56

what @tabulahrasa said - call the breed rescue organisation, please. I've been looking at ours and divorce is listed as a common reason for rehoming.

I wouldn't trust your DH with your dogs, you say they're well adjusted and in good health, highly likely to make a successful transition to a good home. Your DH otoh sounds like a flake and even if he eventually takes them they may then get mistreated/ignored.

Your DC will be sad, and that is sad but sometimes you do have to prioritise and all that money on dog walkers when your DH isn't paying maintenance would force most of us to the same position.

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