When you adopted a new pet, did you change its name?
With younger animals (under a couple years) I would almost expect it - most shelters or breeders just give them generic games to tell them apart from the others, and probably expect people would change the names.
But would you do it if adopting an older animal, 2 years+? Especially if it had already been with a family calling it that for a few years.
I'm slightly torn...on one hand, I'd feel bad changing a pet's name that they identified with for most of their life. Then again, I feel like a new name would kind of signify that it is your pet now, and not one that you're just sort of fostering.
Good question. I kept Figaro's name - he had been with his person for seventeen years before she gave him away for adoption - and the name seemed to fit him (he is deaf so won't answer to anything anyway). Norton stayed Norton, as did Phil (although he made it clear it's Phillip, not Phil) and Lupe (the name given to him by the vet who saved his life).
The rest of my cats - well, I like Stinky's Mum's theory that if you listen carefully a cat will tell you his/her name. My first adopted cat sat in front of me his first morning and told me loud and clear the name Rufus (his shelter name) is stupid and his real name is Murphy. The others have all chosen their names themselves....
Perhaps it's different with dogs, I don't know. With my cats, I sometimes think I should just call them all, 'Snacktime', as it's the only thing that makes them pay any attention LOL
None of my adoptees came with names they'd had for life, so far they've all been cats nobody knew the history of before they wound up in shelter...Clayton had been named by the charity and I liked it, so I kept it. Pip was called Philippa, she'd been in rescue nearly two years so I didn't like to change her name completely, but Philippa really didn't suit her, so I shortened it. And Hops was named Halley's Comet...but that was quite a mouthful and a very odd name for a three-legged ginger lad, so I nicknamed him Hops while I came up with a 'proper' name for him. I never managed it before Hops stuck...
I have almost always changed the name. With the exception of Bellis (4 when I got her) and Malcolm (5 when I adopted him) I changed all the others. Some I kept similar. Hope became Happy and Elmo became Elliott. When I foster kittens I have to name them and I never expect the names to stick. Sometimes they do. I do, after all, think up some great names. LOL But most are changed. Even older cats that come to me for foster I name and if their new family wants to change it, no biggie.
Clevercat has already mentioned my feelings about the name game. The cats will tell you their true name, and you will see how well it fits them when you learn it. It might be the name they are adopted with, or something completely different--just ask Stinky and The Pest.
While names are pretty important, the most important thing is that they will have their very own home and person to love them forever. They won't worry about what you call them, as long as you call them HOME.
Our rescue was named at the animal hospital that took him in and saved his life. It didn't suit him at all. From the first night we had him we started using our own name for him and he responded to it very well. I don't think he liked his old name at all, which did not suit him in the least. As long as there is love in your voice, they will respond to the new name, IMO.
Two of our beagles just had rescue names given to them when they were picked up and therefore we just gave them names we wanted to use. One was 3 1/2 when we adopted her and we kept her name - not because we thought we couldn't change it, but just because it seemed to suit her. Our fourth was about 2 when we adopted him and we also knew his name but we didn't keep it - partly because we didn't think it suited him, but also because he had been through a lot and so we thought the name might have negative memories attached to it too. For any of the names we changed, the dog started to respond to it within days, so I don't think changing a name is a big deal as far as the dog is concerned.
We've adopted from groups that say don't change the name and others that say it won't harm them. Only once have we changed the dog's name. He had a name that didn't suit him and I refused to keep the name. Unless you know the dog has had the same name for years, I think a change is ok. If he/she is used to a long-time name, I'd keep it.
I've always changed their names. My dog was around four when I got her and there was absolutely no way I was going to go around calling her Precious for the rest of her life. I think it took about a month for her to get used to Lilah and not respond to her old name.