Thank you for caring enough to try to find a good home for your pet! (If you are looking to find a new home for a pet that you found or rescued, please click that link for an article tailored for that scenario instead.) Adopt-a-Pet.com is a non-profit resource that allows animal shelters and rescue groups to list their animals for adoption. We cannot post listings from individuals. However, there are many ways to find a loving, new home for your companion pet. Before you give up your pet, we encourage you to take advantage of the many resources available for solving problems and keeping pets in their homes. Read on…
For pet behavior problems such as barking, digging, scratching, problem urination, etc., first talk to your veterinarian—some behaviors can be caused by health problems, and for others there may be medications available.
- For dog behavior issues, consult with a trainer or dog behaviorist in your area. There are also great dog behavior help articles and tips in the “Doggie Tips” category of our blog, http://www.adoptapet.com/blog/dog-behavior-and-training/. Keep in mind that if your dog is having a behavior problem, it will need to be addressed at some point, and generally in his home with the people he loves and trusts is the best place.
- For cat behavior issues, we have many articles at http://www.adoptapet.com/blog/cat-behavior-and-training/ - and also visit the Cats International website at www.catsinternational.org or call (262) 375-8852 after you have spoken with your veterinarian. Most cat behavior problems are solvable!
- If you are concerned about your pet being home alone, consider enrolling your dog in a doggy daycare, hiring a dog walker, or getting another animal to keep him/her company.
If you are moving or having trouble with your landlord, the San Francisco SPCA Pets in Rental Program provides expert advice. They can be reached at http://www.sfspca.org/programs-services/open-door or (415) 554-3097. If you are concerned about your dog being home alone, consider enrolling him/her in a doggy daycare, hiring a dog walker, or getting another animal to keep him/her company.
If you or a family member have allergies: There are products available at pet stores that you can spray on your pet to reduce allergens. Quality air filters can also make a big difference. And today’s allergy medications can alleviate most symptoms. Your doctor can give you more information. You can also find helpful tips to reduce or eliminate pet allergies at http://www.adoptapet.com/blog/reduce-allergies-to-pets/
If you absolutely must find your pet another home, remember that your animal has only you to depend on to make sure that he/she lives in a safe and healthy environment. Your loyalty to your pet and willingness to put forth some effort will make it possible for your animal to live a happy and healthy life.
Surrender to a public shelter?
It is greatly preferable to find your pet a home yourself rather than taking him/her to a shelter. Even the best shelter is stressful for the animal, and you have only one animal to focus on while a shelter may have hundreds. Publicly run animal shelters are already overcrowded and, in many cities, a majority of the pets are not adopted, but instead are euthanized. Even purebred and friendly pets are routinely destroyed at public shelters to make space for new pets coming in. The extent of the overpopulation problem varies from area to area. For a list of shelters and rescues in your area, click here.
Surrender to a rescue or no-kill shelter?
There are privately-run shelters and rescue organizations that do not kill pets. But because they keep the pets for as long as it takes to find a new home, they are usually filled to capacity, so it can take weeks to get an appointment. If you do find a “no-kill” organization than might take your animal, offering as big a tax-deductible donation as possible will help. Remember, in the case of private shelters and rescue groups, they are just people who are doing their best because they care about pets, most are volunteers spending significant amounts of their own money to cover vet bills, and they all get far more legitimate hard luck cases than they can possibly handle each day. For a list of shelters and rescues in your area, click here.
Find your pet a new home yourself
More than likely, you will need to do the work yourself to find your pet a good home. If you cannot keep the pet in your home, ask friends and family to help, or look for a boarding facility or veterinary office where you can pay to house the pet. Don’t house the pet too far away or it will be hard to show him/her to potential adopters.
- Friends, family, coworkers and neighbors are valuable adoption resources. Not only are they potential adopters, but they can help spread the word to others as well.
- Have you pet spayed or neutered-you’ll have better luck adopting him or her out!
- Take a photo of your pet and make a flyer to post at your work, veterinary offices, pet supply stores, grocery stores, libraries, cafes, or anywhere around town. Be sure to talk to people about your pet whenever you can. Email all your contacts – include photo, pet’s info and attach the flyer.
- Place ads in local newspapers and neighborhood newsletters—be sure to make it catchy and mention a particularly cute or interesting quality your pet has.
- Post a photo album of your pet on Facebook, include “needs a home” in the title, and ask your friends to share. Add a new photo every day so it will show up daily in your friends News Feed.
Screen any potential new home
If you are considering giving your pet to someone you don’t know, you will want to screen them to ensure the match is a good one. Let your pet’s personality be a guide for what questions to ask. Is your pet good with cats, dogs, and kids? Does she have any characteristics that warrant a more experienced pet owner?
Other questions you should ask are: Will the pet be allowed inside the house? Have they had pets before? Did their pets die of natural causes or for reasons that make you suspect they were not properly cared for? Ask local shelters and rescue groups for copies of their screening forms and adoption agreements for more ideas.
After you’ve done some initial screening and have a good candidate, bring the pet and person together to meet. Visit the person’s home, and trust your intuition—you want to be sure that the adopter has your pet’s interests at heart. You may want to check identification and ask for references. Let the new adopter know they can call you for questions or advice. After a week or so, give them a call to find out how things are going.
Do NOT give away a pet for free
Free pets are much more likely to be abandoned, and in some cases, someone might be seeking to obtain a pet for free to use for an illegal purpose such as dog fighting. You should charge an adoption fee that is equal to or greater than the adoption fee charged by your local animal shelter for that type of pet. Don’t be shy to charge money for your pet! Having someone pay money for a pet is one of the most important ways to be assured that the person who is taking the pet is serious about wanting them, and can afford to pay for the food and veterinary care the pet will need throughout his/her life. If you do not want to keep the money you receive for the pet, you can donate it to your local shelter or rescue. You can also offer to hold it as a veterinary fund for the pet. That is a great way to ensure that the adopter is serious about wanting the pet, the pet has a small fund for veterinary care, and you will continue to be able to monitor the health of your pet.
Remember, your pet has NO ONE but YOU—The loyalty you show and effort you put forth to find your pet a new loving home, even if it causes inconvenience for you now, will be well worth it when you know that your pet is living out a healthy and happy life!