How do you take a pet away from someone moving in a care facility?

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We recently moved my mother-in-law into a senior memory care facility. She has early alzheimers and needed more care than we could give her. The bad news is she hates us, the good news is she was able to keep her little Chichauhau. Lulu (her dog) is so sweet to our family, but snips at everyone else. Things have been ok for these first 3 weeks but today we got a call that the dog snipped at a family member of one of the residents and they are concerned about keeping her on the floor. They have to think of the well being of everyone. My problem is I don't know how to take the dog from mom. She lives for that dog. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this?

Answers 1 to 10 of 11
Top Answer
First thing I would do is talk to the administrator. If her dog can be kept away from visitors,there is a chance they will allow the dog to remain. Also... a small 'cage' muzzle can be put on the dog to prevent anyone from being 'snipped'.

p.s. ANYONE who knows chi's KNOWS that they are snippy dogs!! Why not make a vest for the dog that says "DO NOT PET"

Also... talk to the facility about giving the dog another chance. making a change like this may very well make your mothers condition alot worse. They should know this.

I understand that there are liabilities where animals are concerned and surely they have some safeguards in place to make sure nothing happens to other residents or visitors.

BUT.. if they will not allow the dog to remain, have THEM remove the dog,and allow YOU to rehome it. After all Mom is already unhappy with you (family).... it shouldn't be something that YOU have to do. Gosh... I know how lost she will be without her dog... my heart goes out to her (and you).
I think that this is a tough question--The facility probably have their own rules-and you for the most part-you will have no choice but to oblide by them......Yes, you Mom will probably be lost without her chi---perhaps you can find a pet therapy is usually encouraged for the most part-and when there is no danger involved...Idea--perhaps a fiblet -saying "the dog was sick" and had to go to the vet!!!
Best you you and your family~
What a heart breaking situation. If the suggestions already given are not options, and if you are willing to keep her dog, maybe bringing the dog with you when you visit will ease the pain of not being able to keep the dog with her. It might also make her look forward to your visits more.
MommacatVKS brings up a VERY good point! Having the dog visit will probably make her HAPPY to see you, but each time, please remember you are going to have to 'leave' with her dog too! To avoid any problems doing this...tell Mom that her HELPFUL little dog is going to visit other people down the hall, to cheer THEM up!! And that you will be back 'later'. Hopefully that won't cause separation anxiety (on Mom's part) everytime you leave with the dog.

I truly think that if you talk to the administrator and ask for a 'second chance' for the dog, perhaps it can be worked out! Hope upon hope!
My best guess is by letting the person know the dog will be well loved and taken care of and brought to see them on a regular basis so they can see it for them selves. Very sad issue. I have seen it alot. It would kill me personally.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. This site has been a huge comfort for me. Unfortunately I also have a chichauhua and as everyone knows they are a one dog house. I wouldn't be able to take the dog which makes it impossible to bring it with me on visits. Thankfully for now, the caretakers are keeping an eye on the situation and said the vest would be a good idea. I welcome all advice still and will see how it goes. Thanks again.
Please do your best to keep this dog in the family...any sibs, adult grandchildren, or family friends that can keep her? I think it would be so traumatic to be experiencing so much loss then have to lose your pet too.
Strangers should never pet a dog unless welcomed to do so by the owner. Perhaps a little crate would be good. Dogs love the feeling of a "den."
I've never heard of a "one dog house." Dogs learn behaviors from their humans and many times it can be "unlearned." There are experts who can help two dogs acclimate and learn to live together.
I hope you can avoid giving this dog up for adoption. That would just add more sadness for both your Mom and the pup.
good luck
It is very clear that the dog is undergoing a great deal of stress in it's new living environment. Please consult a reliable dog trainer immediately to see if there is anything you can do to help the dog settle in. Inform the facility that you are doing so and this may buy you some time and good will on their part.

A home reared dog might easily be traumatized by the relocation to a facility. We have a Jack Russell Terrier and i'm sure that he would resource guard me if I was moved out of my home. You mother's dog is probably just protecting the leader of it's pack who it undoubtedly perceives is sick and distressed about the move. That is a lot of stress for a small dog to handle.

The alternate course is for you or another family member to have the dog live with you and bring it to visit your mother when you go. This might also soften her attitude towards you since she will be seeing her precious pup whenever you visit.

My dad was placed in a nursing facility six months ago. His whole life centered around his birds. I told him I gave the birds to a family member who is taking really good care of them. This is true. Maybe you can tell your mother-in-law that the dog has to go home with you for a little while because the others are complaining and when the time is right, you can bring the dog back. Sometimes the longer you wait to bring an animal back, they will tend to deal with the situation as it is. I personally would not bring the dog to visit because that will confuse her even more when you leave with the dog. Put a picture of the dog in a frame and place it in her room. Good luck to you.
If a doctor certifies the dog as a ESA, by law the rest home cannot discriminate.
It comes under the Fair Housing and disabilities laws. A muzzle is a great idea or maybe keeping the dog in a kennel in her room during visiting hours.Or, you might gradually introduce a cat as a pet with your mom.........and take the nipper home with you but bring it back to visit.

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