If you can't keep your dog
Consider your reasons for not wanting to keep your dog
If your reason for not wanting to keep your dog is due to it having behavioural problems, or difficulty in adapting to an existing pet in the household, consider seeking professional advice to resolve the problem. Find out more about Dog Training and Behavioural Problems.
If you are expecting a new baby, and are concerned about how your dog will adapt, you can find information about preparing your dog for the baby's arrival, to ensure it copes well with the change.
If you still can't keep your dog
In this case you must find an appropriate new home for the dog, for instance, with family or friends. Alternatively, the breeder you originally purchased your dog from (if applicable) may be willing to take your dog back. If your dog is a purebred, you might also be able to locate a rescue organisation specifically for your breed of dog (try a web search, or contact Dogs Victoria.
Another option is to surrender your dog to the local council or an animal shelter / rescue organisation. This decision to surrender your dog to a pound or shelter not be taken lightly. Staff at pounds and shelters do their best to rehouse dogs, and do find homes for most of them. Sadly, however, the reality is that there are simply not enough homes available for all the dogs, particularly those with health or behavioural problems. Even though they love animals, the staff have no choice but to euthanase the dogs that can't be rehoused – there is not enough room in the pounds or shelters to hold these dogs forever. Although this is a heartbreaking task, it is kinder option for the dogs than leaving them to suffer a life of disease and neglect, abandoned on the streets.
Note: dumping or abandonment of animals is an offence (under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986), and can lead to substantial fines and potential imprisonment. Dumped animals are likely to suffer starvation and disease, which can lead to death. Report cases of abandoned cats or dogs to your local council or the RSPCA.
As discussed above, the preferred course of action if you can no longer keep your dog is to find a new home for him/her, such as with family or friends. The next best option is to surrender your dog to a pound, shelter or rescue organisation. However, as a last resort only, if you cannot find a new home for your dog, it is kinder to have a veterinarian put him/her to sleep (euthanase them), rather than dump or abandon your dog. If you are having an animal put to sleep it must be done humanely. A veterinary practitioner is best placed to do this.