Re-homing a Pet
Having to give up a pet for whatever reason is heartbreaking -- for both the owner and the pet. If you've found yourself in this unfortunate situation, finding a new home for your pet is the best thing you can do for them.
Your pet is your responsibility; therefore, it is also your responsibility to ensure that they have a safe place to call home when you give up ownership of them. So many pets end up living on the streets as strays because of irresponsible pet owners who didn't take the time and put in the effort to re-home them appropriately.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started on a search for your pet's new home. With some patience, time, and effort you can rest assured you will be leaving your beloved pet in good hands.
Before you start
- Make sure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered.
- Have a copy of your pet's medical history on hand.
- Have your pet groomed.
- Have a photo shoot and take great pictures of your pet.
- Write an honest yet appealing bio for your pet. Detail their background, medical history, behavior. Include positive traits that you love about your pet. Creating realistic expectations will ensure that your pet will find a permanent home.
Spread the word
Here are some tips on how to get the word out:
- Tell everyone. Tell your friends, family and people you work with that you're looking for a new home for your pet. People you know are more likely to empathize with you and your situation so they are more likely to open up their homes to your pet. Bonus: you already know these people so you will have an idea what kind of pet owner they will be. Also, they probably already had a chance to meet your pet. They can also help spread the word to their own networks.
- Contact the place where you acquired your pet. Contact breeder/ shelter/ rescue groups/and where you acquired your pet and let them know that you are planning to rehome. They might be able to connect you with folks who are looking to adopt a pet.
- Contact No-kill shelters and rescue organizations in your area. Rescue groups cannot always provide shelter due to lack of space but they can help connect your pet to potential adopters. Even if they have no spots available, they can help advertise your pet as "available for adoption". This would mean that your pet would have to remain in your care until you find them the right home.
- Contact breed rescues. If you have a purebred cat or dog, you may be able to find a rescue organization that specializes in helping pets of that breed.
- Poster up. Place signs at local Veterinarian's Office, Pet Supply Store, Grooming Shops, Grocery Stores, Churches, Gym, School etc. Include a color photo and description along with your contact information.
- Advertise. Pay for an ad in the local paper.
- Post on Facebook! Post photos of your furry kid on the internet and any info you can about him/her: age, name, friendly/timid, likes other dogs, likes cats, likes people, neutered/spayed. If needed, regularly comment on post to have it stay current on a Facebook wall. For Facebook pages to post on, check the list on their page: Click here.
- Never list your pet dog as ‘free’ on the internet. Unfortunately, dog fighting is a real threat. Free pets are sometimes picked up and then used as bait animals to train fighting dogs.
Evaluate the New Home
Once you have found potential adopters for your pet, you will need to evaluate if they are indeed a suitable match.
- Be very picky. Please be particular as to whose hands you put your beloved pet into. Do a home check to see if they have a suitable environment for your pet. Just as adoption centers do, ask important questions that will help you evaluate if they are the right match for your pet. Sample questions to ask:
- Their housing situation (renting vs. owning), renters need landlord's approval and verification prior to adopting
- Type of housing - Sometimes the size of home matters, i.e. for big dogs, a house with a big yard would be best
- Number and ages of children in household
- Number and type of other pets they currently own (if any)
- Previous experience with pets
- Their activity level, lifestyle, and expectations for a new animal
- Allow a period of adjustment. Just because you've turned your pet over to a new home doesn't mean you can wash your hands off of them entirely. In the following weeks, until you feel confident about leaving your pet completely in the new owner's hands, check up on your pet and see how the new owner and your former pet are getting along. The new pet owner may have some follow-up questions about your pet. As well, sometimes new pet owners can have a change of heart and realize that they do not want a pet after all or they cannot get along with your particular pet. Do your due diligence and make sure that your pet is completely settled into his/her new home. If not, you may want to take the lead on finding another home for your pet.
- Be patient. The process can and will take time. You don't want to rush things and have your pet suffer in the end.
Be wary of the fact that if you leave your pet at the local animal shelter, there is a possibility that they could be euthanized after a certain period of time. In Midland, our animal shelter sees such a high number of stray pets that they have to resort to euthanasia.
You can help avoid this grim fate for your pet. Finding your pet a new home will take time and patience. Be prepared to foster your pet until he/she gets adopted or find a trusted friend or family member who can if you absolutely cannot possibly hold on to them. You may need to make adjustments to your schedule as much as possible until your pet gets re-homed. Don't make excuses that may cause your pet his/her life. If there is a will, there is a way.
Your pet is a member of your family. A responsible pet owner will do whatever it takes to ensure that their pet goes to a good home.
Do you have any more questions?
We will be happy to answer your questions! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. For your convenience, here is our Contact Form.