Most pet owners don't get a pet with the intention of ever having to give it up or rehome it, however, sometimes things happen and the owner is no longer able to keep the pet and rehoming becomes necessary. Rehoming your pet can be one of the toughest choices a pet owner can make, but in these challenging economic times, rehoming your pet might become necessary. Transferring to a new job, renting a new apartment, changes in your family like the birth of a new baby, the development of certain medical conditions, and even a tighter household budget can result in the necessity of rehoming your pet.
Many people look to rehome a cat because they have a baby on the way and are worried for two reasons. The risk of catching toxoplasmosis during pregnancy and risks to the baby once it's born. Please be assured that as long as you take some careful steps, you, your cat and your baby can all live safely and in harmony. So if you are pregnant, and considering rehoming your cat, please get the facts before you make that decision to give up your cat.
Whatever the cause for rehoming your pet, there are many reasons why you should be cautious. Not everyone responding to your ad for rehoming your pet have the animal's best interests in mind. To prevent your pet from ending up in the wrong hands, it is vital to investigate the potential new owners, commit them to an adoption application and contract, insist on an adoption fee, gather future vetting information, qualify the living status, microchip the animal, and pay attention to the types of questions a potential adopter asks.
Rehoming should always be a last resort, but if it becomes necessary, here are some tips to help you find the best home possible for your pet.
Get Your Pet Fixed
Before you choose to rehome your pet, get him or her fixed. You should fix your pet prior to rehoming, even if your pet is a special breed since this will discourage people who may only be interested in taking your pet as a way to make money from selling their puppies/kittens. Additionally, this will help protect your pet from getting pregnant or getting other animals pregnant and help control the unwanted pet population.
Make sure that your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations. This will make rehoming easier on your pet's new family as well as help to protect your pet against illness.
Gather Medical Records
Even if your pet has been relatively healthy for his or her entire life, you should gather your pets medical records. This includes documentation of any vaccinations, surgeries or spaying/neutering. These records can be very helpful for your pet's new owners should anything come up.
Contact Shelters Last
When a family can no longer keep a pet, usually the first thought of is the animal shelter. The animal shelter, however, should be a last resort for many reasons. Even if the shelter is a no-kill shelter, the transition from your home, to a shelter, to a new home can be quite traumatic. If possible, it would be best for your pet to transition from your home to their new home, rather than stopping at the shelter in between. The shelters are filled with other animals and can cause your pet a great deal of stress.
Can you take the pet back to original owner
Most rescue organizations will take back any pet adopted from them. If you adopted your pet, please call the rescue and explain the situation. Some rescues have contracts stating the return policy requires the pet be returned to the rescue, so please read your contract. Did the pet come from a breeder? Give them a call to see if they have any suggestions for placing the pet in a new home. Always check with prior owners before letting your pet go to a new home.
If you're looking to rehome your pet, be sure to spread the word! Create flyers and place them in your community. Some great places to post flyers are community bulletin boards, veterinary practices, pet supply stores, pet grooming salons, local newspapers and online. Be sure to spread through word of mouth as well, letting your friends, family and coworkers know that you're looking to rehome your pet.
Contact rescue Organizations
If your pet is a specific breed, there may be a rescue organization willing to help you find a new home for your pet. Do a search online for rescue groups that serve the needs of your pet's specific breed.
Give Yourself Ample Time
If rehoming is necessary, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to find a home. This will help avoid placing your pet in a home where they may not be well-suited, simply because it was all that was offered. Give yourself plenty of time to find a new home. It may take several weeks to find a good home for your pet.
Charge A Fee
Although it might seem counterproductive to finding a home for your pet, charge a rehoming fee. The fee doesn't need to be extravagant, but it will help protect your pet from being placed with someone who may abuse it, sell it to a lab, or neglect it. If you're uncomfortable charging a fee for your pet, ask the person to give a donation to a local animal rescue and present you with the receipt for the donation when they come to pick the pet up.
Interview Potential Families
Don't just give your pet to the first family that contacts you. Be sure to ask the family questions about their pet-training philosophies, other pets they have or have had, who lives in their household (for example, if they have young children), and other relevant questions. Additionally, ask if you can see their home. If a family refuses to let you visit their home, this is not a good sign.
When considering potential families for your pet, be sure to ask for references and then follow up with those references. This will help you to get a feel for the family and whether or not you think they might make a good home for your pet.
Go With Your Gut Response
When you first meet the potential family members and you feel “something” isn’t quite right, reject them and keep looking. Also consider how your pet responds to the potential family members. If he/she acts afraid, cowers, trembles, barks non-stop, shows any aggression at all then you need to reconsider. Your pet can be a pretty good judge of character.