If you are faced with surrendering your pet because of a life crisis or inability to find pet-friendly accommodation, here are some things you can do to help save your pet’s life.

If you need to find a new home for your pet, rather than turn the animal into a shelter or council pound, where he or she may be euthanased, there are proactive strategies you can use to increase your chances of success.

First, prepare the animal for adoption. To increase the chances of finding a home and the success of the new placement, it is important that the pet is:

  • Speyed or neutered
  • In good health and up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Clean and groomed
  • House-trained and reasonably well-behaved

Although your local shelter may not be able to adopt out the pet, they may be able to offer other assistance. Some have low-cost spay/neuter clinics, or offer obedience-training classes. They may have a bulletin board where they post information about animals available for adoption.

Next, advertise widely. Get the word out, in as many places as possible, to increase your chances of success in finding a new home. 

Get the pet out there! (This works especially well with dogs.) The more the pet is out and about, interacting with people, the more likely he’ll charm the right person. Take him on walks, to pet supply stores, to the local park. You can even put a colorful bandana or sign on him that says “Adopt me” or “Looking for a home.” Check with your local shelter to see if they have off-site adoption days; if so, they might let you bring your pet.

Be creative, positive and persistent. There are many animals needing homes at any one time, so finding a home can take some work. But, there are good homes out there, so try to maintain a positive attitude. Explore all options you can think of for finding a home – creativity and persistence are usually rewarded.

Remind yourself that you are this pet’s best option for finding a new home. You might think shelters or rescue groups would be more adept at placing the pet because we have experience, facilities, screening guidelines, etc. But, an individual, particularly one who knows the animal, can focus all his or her efforts on that pet, provide the most information to prospective adopters, and best determine the appropriateness of a new home. Also, any shelter or sanctuary is stressful for an animal. The shelter setting, no matter how nice, can bring on stress-related problems. Anxiety, aggression, and even illness are common and these natural reactions may make adoption difficult or impossible.

Adapted from Best Friends – www.bestfriends.org/resources/rehome-my-dog-cat-or-other-pet