Animal adoption is a rewarding and life-changing journey that gives an animal a second chance at life. But, unfortunately, sometimes things don’t work out. Certain extenuating circumstances can make re-homing your pet unavoidable. But while giving up a beloved animal companion is often extremely difficult for the family, it’s also a hardship on rescues and shelters.
Animal rescue organizations receive a high number of phone calls from pet guardians surrendering their cats and dogs. Whether these situations are a result of legitimate circumstances or not, they are often left with no other option than to take these animals in. With limited resources and space, what seems like an innocent re-homing situation is actually a great burden that leads to millions of homeless animals and, in many unfortunate cases, euthanization.
Is re-homing the only option?
So what is the alternative? The first step is for pet guardians to re-evaluate their decision to re-home.
Often what seems like the only solution is merely one of many possibilities. In cases where pet allergies become a concern, for example, a few simple lifestyle changes (such as investing in a high-quality air filter), may resolve the issue. If your dog and cat have started butting heads and you’re worried about their safety, enroll your dog in a positive training class before dumping him in an already over-crowded shelter. Persistent medical complication that you can’t handle? Turn to your vet for advice. In most cases, the “unsolvable” problem can be solved without resorting to re-homing.
Sadly, re-homing is sometimes the only option. But how you take steps to re-home your pet is up to you, and there are ways to do it responsibly.
1. First and foremost, determine whether you have friends or family who are able to provide your pet with the care he needs. This allows for a smoother transition, especially if the animal is already familiar with his new family.
2. Visit shelters and rescues in your area to determine if any are equipped to properly care for your animal. Make sure it’s a no-kill shelter, and consider making a donation to help provide for your pet until he finds his forever home.
3. Take steps to find a new home for your pet by advertising him on a credible website. Get Your Pet is an online resource that connects pet owners in cases of re-homing. Allowing cats and dogs to go directly from one good home to another, the site is a simple way to free up room in shelters for animals that require their expert care. It even provides a free medical examination for each pet on his way to a new home.
Each year, 2.5 million pets are given back to shelters because their guardians are no longer able to care for them. Before you adopt an animal, make sure you’re ready to be his forever family.