Tips for Rehoming Your Pet

Before bringing your pet to a shelter, please use the suggestions below to try to find a new, loving home for your pet.

Rehoming Tips

Give yourself plenty of time to re-home your pet. Last-minute efforts to rehome pets often lead to unsafe situations.

  • Ask family, friends and coworkers if they, or someone they know, might be interested in giving your pet a new home. People can share your situation by word of mouth and social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, etc.
  • Your veterinarian, a local pet supply store,or pet groomer might also be a resource for networking.
  • Increase your pet’s adoptability by making sure it’s spayed/neutered, groomed, and up to date on vaccinations.
  • Share the story of your pet. Write a story about your pet that includes the reason you need to rehome them, the type of home and family your pet would thrive in, and some fun information to gain interest in your pet (such as what their favorite things are, tricks they can do, their funniest characteristics, etc.). Hearts Speak has an excellent toolkit for writing a great story.
  • Have several, good quality photos ready to share.
  • Consider placing an ad for your pet: online or in local newspapers. However, screening is important. Do not let your desire to re-home your pet override your pet’s need for the new owner to confirm that they can provide a life-long home to your pet.
  • Online resources that are free for pet owners to post their animals for private home-to-home placement:
  • Is your pet a purebred? Contact your breeder or a breed-specific rescue group.

If you have exhausted all the resources above, find out more about our appointment-only surrender process.

Rehoming: Meeting Potential Adopters

When meeting a potential adopter, consider the following:

  • Interview potential adopters to ensure they are a good fit for your pet.
  • Give yourself time - rehoming your pet is a big decision and a difficult one at that. Take the time you need to review applications and interview potential adopters. Do not allow yourself to feel pressured into making a quick decision or decision you are not completely comfortable with. Your judgment is your best guide and if you do not feel that the potential adopter is a good fit, chances are you are right.
  • Establish a communication plan with the potential adopter so that you can follow-up with them and give them an opportunity to contact you with any questions or concerns they have. Also, consider if you will want a post adoption follow up plan where you can check in on your pet post-rehoming.

The Rehoming Process

  1. The Meetup: Arrange a time and public place to get together. Bring your pets favorite toys, bedding, carrier, litter box, and/or other items. If you have any remaining food to give to the new pet parent, bring that as well.
  2. Records: Bring a copy of any and all veterinary records you have. To make the transfer smooth, offer to contact your veterinarian and have them send your pet’s records to the new owner’s preferred clinic. Let your veterinarian know about the new ownership as well.
  3. Transfer of Ownership: Create a written document and record the transfer of ownership to the adopter. The document should be signed by both you and the adopter. Each of you should obtain a signed copy.
  4. Update the Microchip: Contact the database where your pet’s microchip is registered and notify them of the change in ownership along with the new owner’s contact information.

Other Resources

Download our packet of Alternating Rehoming Resources.

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