As rescuers, we understand that it must be very painful to say goodbye to a family pet. On one hand, many families have to make the difficult decision to ReHome a beloved pet for personal, health or economic reasons. On the other hand, the increasing homeless-pet population has made rehoming a pet in need all too common for the Good Samaritans who find them! If the owner cannot be found, then you, as the Good Samaritan, may be wondering how to find him/her a forever home. Please click here to learn what to do if you have found a lost or a stray pet.
Before you ReHome your pet:
If you adopted your pet from a no-kill shelter, humane society, breed-specific rescue, or any other type of rescue organization, reach out to them for help in re-homing your pet. Most rescues and humane societies will take their pets back if an adopter can no longer care for them. It may be written in your adoption contract about their policy of returning a pet. Even if they are not able to take your pet back into their rescue program, they should be willing to help you find him another home and family.
However, if your pet did not come from one of these organizations, consider contacting reputable no-kill shelters, humane societies, breed-specific rescues, or other rescue groups. Start by doing an internet search, or your veterinarian may be able to suggest a reputable rescue.
If your pet is breed-specific (for instance, your dog is a German Shepherd or your cat is a Siamese) then look on line for a rescue group that specializes in that breed. The organization doesn’t necessarily have to be local… sometimes breed-specific rescues have contacts in several states. They have experience with the breed and could prove helpful in finding the right home, and people seeking that breed will often go to them when they want to adopt. If the pet is not breed-specific, then contact local rescues or humane groups in your area for help. Whether breed-specific or not, be sure that you are dealing with a reputable rescue! Ask them for the name of the veterinarian they use, so you can call for a reference. Even if the rescue organization you contact can’t take your pet into their program, they may be able to help you ReHome him/her through their own resources and contacts.
If you find that the rescue organizations you contact are full and cannot accept your pet, perhaps they may work with you to find him a suitable home if you are able to “foster” your pet. If a rescue is able to help, you may want to thank them by making a donation to their organization.
Whether aided by a rescue group or not, it is beneficial for your pet to stay with you, if possible, until a good home is found, rather than taking him to a shelter, which would cause him much stress. Additionally, when your pet goes directly from your home to a new home, you will be comforted by knowing where your pet will be. If, however, it is not possible for you to keep your pet with you while you are seeking a new home for him, maybe a trusted family member or good friend would foster your pet until a good home can be found.
To help you reach prospective families wanting to adopt a pet, ReHomeYourPets offers an Adoptable Pets page, where you can post your pet’s photos and information.
Also, we have provided sample forms for you to use: a ReHome Application, which will help you with good questions to ask an applicant; a Pet Information Sheet, which will allow you to provide helpful information about your pet to his new family; and a ReHome Contract, an agreement which you can ask the adopting family to sign.
AND FINALLY…remember that finding your pet a safe and loving home is the last responsible thing you can do for him. Please be as thorough as possible in checking out prospective adopters!