Have to Re-home Your Pet?
If you are faced with the difficult decision to give up your pet, there are a number of things you can do before surrendering the animal to an animal shelter where it may face euthanization:
- Be proactive and start as early as possible in your search. It may take time to find a good home for your pet, especially if you consider your pet to be a cherished family member and want only the best possible home for it.
- Try to find a friend or relative that you know and trust to provide a loving permanent home for the animal, or to care for it in the interim until one can be found.
- Don't make a hasty decision and give up your pet at the first opportunity. While there are many responsible pet owners, there are also many people who will not give your pet the kind of home you want, even if they say they will. Ask questions to determine their past history with animals, such as how many pets they have previously owned, and what became of the animals. Be wary of people who claim that their previous cats have run away, that they don't know what happened to them, or that they died of unknown illnesses. Such people likely will not provide a safe home for your pet.
- If your pet is not used to children, find out if potential adopters have children, the children's ages, and whether or not they are good with animals.
- If your pet is too young to be sterilized, make sure that the interested person agrees with spaying / neutering at the appropriate age.
- Find out how the pet will be cared for if the new owners go out of town or on vacation, and be sure the person is willing and able to provide veterinary treatment should the animal suffer from an illness. Ask to do a follow-up visit, if possible or if they will provide an update when the pet is settled.
- Never give an animal away for free. Animals are not dispensable or disposable, and people need to know and appreciate the value of animals. Typically, it is the less desirable homes that seek free animals, so charging even a minimal fee may ensure your pet gets a better home. Cats are quite plentiful so ask for a modest fee - for a young, sterilized/vaccinated cat, you should be able to get between $25 and $50. You can charge more for dogs depending on the breed, and whether or not they are already sterilized.
- Remember that the only home you can be absolutely sure of is your own home. One can never be completely certain, but by taking these steps into consideration when re-homing your pet, the chances are much better that the pet will end up being loved and cared for in a responsible manner.
Before you surrender your pet
- Before you relinquish your pet to an animal rescue group or shelter, be sure to consider the possible consequences, including the very real possibility that your pet could be euthanized the same day it arrives at the shelter.