What To Do When You Have To Get Rid Of A Pet

BNelson By BNelson, 26th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Adoption & Rescue

What should a person do if they have a pet they cannot keep? How to rehome an unwanted cat or dog. What to do if you cannot keep your cat or dog. What are some options for getting rid of a pet.

Making a Tough Choice

There are many reasons why a person may not be able to keep their pet. Sometimes it might be that they are moving and cannot take their pet with them, or that their finances simply no longer allow a pet in their life. Whatever the reason, here are some tips in order to help you find a new home for your pet, or decide if that is even a reasonable thing to consider.

Make an honest assessment of your pet. An old large breed dog, who does not tolerate strangers, will not likely find a home. An unfixed male cat, beyond the age of a few years, who tends not to use the litter box, is not very adoptable. The pets who are most likely to get a home are the young ones, or with dogs, smaller, non-shedding breeds, or animals of some unique quality.

If you are considering giving your pet to an animal shelter you have to be realistic about its chances there, nothing that most shelter cannot guarantee your pet will find a home. If you are honest about your pet's chances in the shelter, you may come to the conclusion that it may be better to try to find it a home on your own. Do be aware that giving away a pet as “free to good home” might not see your pet going to an actual good home.

Consider Some Options

You may have a family member, or friend, who wants the pet. If your problem is landlord approval, you may select to move (and can keep the pet in a kennel until you can do so). If the problem is allergies, talk to a doctor about better allergy medications. One caution is that (as mentioned above) many of the “good homes” are not so good after all. Unless you are willing to check out the home in question, never give the pet away to a stranger. If a person won't give you their name, phone number, and address, do not trust them with your pet.

Facebook is a good place to tell others that you have a pet you have to rehome, and is much safer in general than posting on a "buy and sell" site (many of which no longer allow pet ads due to problems).

Call the Animal Shelter in Advance of Surrendering Your Pet

Many animal shelters keep waiting lists for people looking for specific types of animals. If your pet is an unusual breed, or species, it may be that the shelter has somebody waiting who they can put you in touch with. Most shelters only do this if the pet is spayed or neutered.

When you call the shelter in advance, they can suggest a good time or day for you to bring the pet. Most shelters will accept pets at any time, but certainly would prefer some notice. No-Kill shelters typically have “waiting lists” for admitting pets, and only accept pets when they have room.

Help Your Pet Get Adopted

A pet who is spayed or neutered and vaccinated will not cause additional expense on the shelter, so if it is friendly and gentle it can usually go up for adoption quickly. When shelters pick what pets to keep, with all things being equal, pets who are already medically up to date, will be given preference over one with an unknown background. Bring the vet records with you to the shelter. A bit of grooming will also go along ways to helping your pet.

Shelters will have you fill out a contract of surrendering your pet, be as honest as you can. Never deny that it is your pet (some shelters do not put stray pets up for adoption). Even having the pets name is something that will make your pet more comfortable in the shelter. Having as much information on the pet, even the negative parts, will help new owners select the pet, and be ready to work with it to overcome its problems. I should note: If you are getting rid of the pet because it has a negative behavior problem, perhaps you should try to work to correct the problem rather than getting rid of the pet. If you are getting rid of pet because it is urinating all over the house, then if you tell this to the shelter they can have a vet check it for a health problem, or would consider it should go to a farm home.

Bring Your Pet's Food and Supplies

For many pets entering the shelter is stressful, stress can make a pet react in a negative way, by bringing some of their familiar things from home, it helps them adjust. For small animals, shelters do not always have enough cages to keep them in, certainly the cage is no use to you if you cannot keep the pet anyhow, so allow the shelter to have the cage and supplies and they can adopt the pet out with them, thus making the pet all the more attractive to somebody picking one out.

Shelters usually feed one food to all their pets, but if they can switch your pet over to that food gradually, it will be much better on your pet's tummy. This is especially important if your pet is on a special diet.

Pay the Fee

Typically animal shelters ask for a relinquishment fee for surrendered pets. Most shelters will take the pets regardless of if the owner can pay the fee or not, but because they are non-profit they rely on every bit of money they can get. The shelter is doing you a favor, not the other way around. If you can, offer them beyond what they ask. If you cannot, make a mental note to someday repay them


Animal Shelter, Cannot Keep, Cat, Dog, Get Rid Of Cat, Get Rid Of Dog, How To Rehome, Pet, Surrendering A Pet, Unwanted Cat, Unwanted Dog, Unwanted Pet

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author avatar BNelson
I write on many topics but am mostly interested in pets and animals.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
26th Aug 2015 (#)

Brenda, excellent article and topic. Pets are family members so it is very hard when you have to get rid of one of them. Thank you for sharing such great advice.

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author avatar Marzeus von Hemelen
22nd Oct 2015 (#)

How very civilized! Most people would have said get a brick or something. I'm glad your ways are more humane.

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