"I realized if I had two difficult kids I wouldn't send them away and ask for new kids," Kate Gosselin tells PEOPLE

Credit: INF

A lot has changed for the Gosselin family in the past year: divorce, dating, drastic haircuts and, of course, Dancing with the Stars. But one constant is returning to the family’s life – German shepherds Shoka and Nala are coming home soon.

“My kids’ lives have been changed and compromised and altered enough over the past year,” Kate Gosselin tells PEOPLE. “I realized if I had two difficult kids I wouldn’t send them away and ask for new kids.”

Dad Jon Gosselin returned the young pups to their trainer in September, at the height of his divorce drama with now-ex-wife Kate. At the time, Jon blamed the move on Kate, telling E! Online, “It’s not fair to the dogs to not be wanted in their own home.”

If that was the case, the reality mom has since changed her tune, telling PEOPLE, “I’d never quit on my kids, so why would I think I was going to quit on my dogs?” She adds that the pups will return to the family’s Wernersville, Pa., home “once the weather warms up.”

Jon came under fire last year for comments he made about the dogs, telling PEOPLE that the couple’s eight kids would “climb on them, pull their tails, bite at them [and] drag them.” He later clarified his statement, saying, “Shoka and Nala are loyal companions who we consider members of our family. We would never do anything to hurt them, and treat them with the respect and love that they deserve.”

Visit PEOPLEPets.com to see more photos of the Shoka and Nala.

For more on Kate Gosselin, check out the March 22 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now