|Adopt-a-Pet.com has a program available for individuals in the U.S. who need help with cat or dog rehoming. See more info at rehome.adoptapet.com and read our tips below!|
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. In coordination with the Petco Foundation, we now offer a feature for individuals in the United States called Rehome where you can post your cat or dog to Adopt-a-Pet.com for free! Once your pet’s profile is approved, your cat or dog will appear in search results on Adopt-a-Pet.com for millions of potential adopters to see.
However, 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. You can also find dog behavior help articles in our Dog Behavior and Training guide. Keep in mind that if your dog has 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 here that can help – 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, see Renting With Pets for tips on finding or keeping a pet-friendly rental.
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 in our Reduce Allergies to Pets article.
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 may already be overcrowded and, in many cities, pets that are not adopted may be euthanized. Even purebred and friendly pets are not an exception. 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 or even months to get an intake appointment. If you do find a “no-kill” organization that might take your animal, offering a big tax-deductible donation may 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.
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!
- Post your pet on Rehome. Our Rehome team understands how difficult the decision can be to rehome your pet, and they are here to guide you through the process from start to finish to help you find the best new home for your cat or dog. All you have to do is start here and fill out health and behavioral questions, write a story to describe your pet, and add photos and videos so potential adopters can see your pet. It’s that easy!
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? Our Rehome Team will also give you tips and tricks for spotting red flags and filtering through applications so you can be confident that you are choosing the right new family.
After you’ve done some initial screening and have a good candidate, bring the pet and person together to meet. The Rehome team will also offer advice on how to set up safe in-person meetings between you and the potential new adopter. Some of our best advice is to 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. If you decide to that this person is the right new family for your pet, Rehome will help you sign a contract of new ownership and help you to transfer all medical records. Even if you do not find the new pet owner through Rehome, you can still post your pet on our platform to utilize our contract signing and records transfer to ensure a safe hand off. 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. If you find your pet a new family through Rehome, the adoption fee will be donated to help get even more pets adopted.
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!
If you have any further questions about cat or dog rehoming, please visit our FAQs page.