Rehoming a Pet
Before deciding to rehome your pet, please take a moment to consider the reason you wish to rehome your pet. Is the pet exhibiting behavior issues? Litter-box issues? Is your puppy chewing furniture or not yet potty trained? Are you having trouble introducing your new pet to an existing pet? Do you have a baby on the way? Are you moving? Has your cat tested positive for FIV? Are you a military member, being deployed and need assistance while you are away from home? Do you need temporary assistance with pet food? These are many of the reasons we are contacted by daily by pet guardians wishing to relinquish their pets. The good news? There are solutions! Click here to find positive solutions to the above mentioned issues and many more.
If, after reading through our P.A.S.S. Program solutions, you still feel your pet needs to be rehomed, we recommend utilizing the following methods to rehome your pet into a well-suited forever home.
THE FACTS: All Ohio pounds currently remain kill facilities, especially for cats/kittens. Local Animal Control killed upwards of 80% of all healthy, adoptable felines who entered their doors in 2013 alone. Nationwide, nearly 3 million cats and dogs are killed in American animal shelters annually. In fact, shelter euthanasia is the number one cause of death in cats- more than any disease or illness. By keeping cats and dogs from ever entering the shelter, we can change the numbers.
SPECIAL NOTE: Please keep in mind that it is always best to keep your pet with you if at all possible. When rehoming a pet, it is imperative that you keep your pet with you until a well-matched forever home is located. This may take some time. Sadly, many pet guardians wishing to rehome their pets wish to do so immediately. Whether you’re rehoming your pet or you’ve rescued a pet that you wish to find a home for, there are many dangers associated with rehoming a pet too quickly. We highly recommend following the steps outlined below to find the right home for your pet.
STEP 1: Courtesy List your Pet with a Reputable No Kill Rescue Organization
- Do NOT list your pet(s) on Craigslist or similar sites. Class B Dealers (i.e. those who sell animals to cruel testing labs), dog fighters (i.e. looking for “bait”) and others will quickly swoop up pets advertised on such sites and those who are listed as “FREE”.
- Keep your pet with you until a well-matched forever home is found.
- If you are rehoming your pet due to a behavior issue (i.e. aggressive tendencies, food aggression, litter box issues, etc.) these issues need to be addressed and corrected PRIOR to placing your pet up for adoption. It is also crucial that you disclose any known issues to potential adopters. If you adopt a pet, for example, with litter box issues, the new adopter will quickly become frustrated with the issue as well and may try to rehome or dump the pet off to an unknown location. We want to do what is best for our pets and correcting/addressing any misbehaviors prior to adoption is crucial to their well-being.
- ALWAYS CHARGE AN ADOPTION FEE. For cats, we recommend charging a minimum adoption fee of $35, and $50 for dogs. Charging an adoption fee is NOT to make a profit. Charging an adoption fee is to deter spur-of-the-moment adopters who may not be committed to the pet for their natural life-span. An adoption fee also helps deter those who are ill-intentioned with pets (i.e. Class B Dealers, etc.). The adoption fee can be donated to a local No Kill Animal Rescue or Spay/Neuter Program to then help local animals in need.
STEP 2: SPAY/NEUTER YOUR PET
- Cats and dogs should ALWAYS be spayed/neutered prior to adoption. Not only can spaying/neutering your pet prevent (and often correct) behavior and health issues, it will help reduce the number of pets who end up in shelters. Did you know that animal shelter euthanasia in the USA is the number one cause of death in cats (more than any disease or illness)? Spaying/neutering your pet also makes them more adoptable. If you’re an Ohio resident, CLICK HERE for affordable spay/neuter options for cats and dogs.
STEP 3: PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR PET
- Providing 3-4 great photos of your pet is essential to finding potential adopters. The better the photos, the better chance of adoption. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture a great photograph of your pet. CLICK HERE for the top 4 tips on taking the best photographs of your pet.
STEP 4: APPLICATION PROCESS/QUESTIONS TO ASK
- View a Pet Adoption Agencies Cat Adoption Application or Dog Adoption Application to assist you in developing a set of questions to ask potential adopters who contact you in regard to adopting your pet. In addition, ask questions that help you get to know the potential adopter. For example, if your pet loves to sleep in bed with a family member, ask the potential adopter where they will have the pet sleep.
STEP 5: HOME VISIT
- It will take some time, but once you’ve met a potential adopter over the phone or email, you’ve interviewed them (step 4) and feel they are a good fit for your pet, it is important to then schedule a home visit to the potential adopters home. We recommend that you bring the pet, their items (i.e. food, food bowls, favorite toys, bedding, leash/carrier, etc.) to give to the adopter if all goes well. In addition, during the home visit, get a feel for whether or not this is a good environment for your pet. Do not rush to adopt your pet into the wrong home. If you know your pet needs a calm home and during the meet & greet/home visit, the home seems busy and noisy- this may not be the best fit for your pet. Make an accurate assessment and know that it is okay to tell the potential adopter that it is not a good fit. Your goal is to find the best fit for your pet– finding the best fit will ensure a forever home and happiness for both the pet and the adopters. When you do find the right fit for your pet, be sure to collect the adoption fee, have the adopters sign an adoption contract (be sure to include a note in the contract that the adopters are only to return the pet to you if for any reason they can no longer care for the animal- this will help ensure the pet is never dumped or given to a shelter, etc.).
- Once your pet has successfully been adopted into a well-matched forever home, contact the adopters two weeks after the adoption and schedule a follow-up visit in the adopters home to make sure the adoption is going well, your pet is making a good transition to the home/family and to answer any questions the adopters may have.