Life can take surprising and difficult turns for all of us. Loss of a job, having to move, allergies, divorce, and even death sometimes results in a wonderful pet needing a new home. For those families or individuals with no other options than to rehome a pet, we are here to help by offering guidance to you. We encourage you to devote at least a month to finding a new home for your pet before considering surrendering your pet to a shelter.
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these, it is best to keep looking for a new home.
Have you talked and met with the potential adopter more than once?
If someone refuses to have more than one conversation and at least one in-person meeting before making the decision to try and adopt your pet, don’t move forward with the adoption. Likewise, if you feel the interested person just wants to “move things along” without really getting to know your animal or more quickly than you feel comfortable with, keep looking for someone else.
Did you interview your potential adopter?
Use the adoption process page on our website as a guideline for making your own adoption interview questions. You should ask if they have other pets or children, if they have their own veterinarian, what their housing restrictions are if any, and if the pet will be mainly indoor or outdoor as a start. Ask them why they want a pet, and why do they feel YOUR pet is the right one for them.
If you don’t know the adopter personally, did you ask for ID and personal references?
Check at least two references and make note of the adopters driver’s license or ID number.
Did you put it in writing?
Require the adopter to sign a contract stating the requirements of adoption upon which both parties agree.
You don’t have to give your pet to the first interested person; take time and choose who you believe will make the best guardian. Some possible questions to ask:
Once you've chosen a family (or families) who you feel are good candidates, make an appointment to meet you and your pet in a public location. You can help the new owners be prepared by providing information for bringing a new pet home.
If your dog or cat is purebred or looks like they might be (some rescues will take breed mixes as well), try contacting a breed rescue organization. Many of these groups will allow you to post your pet’s picture on their website. Some may even offer to provide a foster home. Learn more at the American Kennel Club’s list of breed rescue groups.
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