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We believe that companion animals are lifelong commitments; however we understand that there are circumstances that can arise in which guardians are legitimately no longer able to look after their pet(s). Unless you aren’t able to properly care for your animal, the best place for them is with you! The abandonment of a pet should always be the last resort.

Before making a final decision, please read our article on five of the most frequent reasons why people feel they have to give up their pet by clicking here. For each of these five situations – behavior problems, allergies, having a baby, lack of space or time and moving – we offer you different options to consider, as well as useful references.

If you’ve carefully examined the situation and concluded that there is no other alternative than to give him up, then you have the choice to entrust your pet to a local shelter, the municipal pound or rehome him yourself. This last option is the best, because choosing to rehome your pet yourself saves your animal the stress, confusion and frustration of having to spend time caged in a shelter. It also helps to give your pet a chance at a second life. Remember, shelters are already overcrowded with animals and that you will help the situation by responsibly rehoming your pet.

If you have decided to rehome your pet yourself, here are important guidelines so that everything is done in a responsible manner, and thus ensure your pet’s long term well-being and safety.

Getting your animal ready for adoption Make sure your pet is healthy, that all his vaccines and veterinary care are up to date. Have your pet spayed or neutered your pet if not already done. Your pet will be more easily adopted and attract the right type of people (and not someone looking for animals only to mate or reproduce).

Create a profile with your pet’s name, photo and description (eg, age, race, behavior, health, habits, preferences and any other information that may be useful to future owners). Build an adoption questionnaire for people interested in adopting your pet in order to better to know them. It will help you make sure that this is a midful decision on their part and that they can provide a suitable home .

How to find a new forever and responsible home You aren’t looking for just anybody to adopt your pet. You want to find people who will give him all the love and care he needs for the rest of his days. Ask friends or family if they are interested in adopting your pet, or if they know someone who would. By giving it to someone you know , you can stay in touch with your partner. Check with your veterinarian if he knows good people looking for a pet like yours. Your vet may also allow you to post an ad at his clinic (announcing in a vet clinic is preferred because it gives you access to responsible pet owners).

Contact rescue groups that deal with specific breeds if your dog or cat is purebred . If you use adoption websites, ads in newspapers or online: Start by phone interviews with interested people before introducing your pet. Thus, you can eliminate from the start those who aren’t suitable or serious. Always ask to speak directly to the person who wishes to adopt your pet and not a go-between. Plan one or more meetings with the potential adopters. Make sure all members of the future family meet your pet. During the visit, observe their interaction with your pet. Ask lots of questions to make sure they will be able to ensure your pet’s well-being.

Ask for valid ID cards with photo.

IMPORTANT: We recommend that you never give your pet for adoption to someone without first visiting their home and checking out their current living conditions. If they don’t let you see their home, we recommend that you don’t pursue with them. Lots of malicious people seek animals through internet and classified ads, such as puppy mills, dog-fighting organizers, brokers (who may sell your animal for research purposes). Don’t advertize if your pet isn’t sterilized, as this will attract puppy/kitten mills or unrecommended breeders.

Final steps When you have found the right home for your pet, make sure to take these last measures with the new family: Have the new family sign an adoption contact and ask them to contact you if later on it doesn’t work out betwee them and your pet. Provide your animal’s medical records and the veterinarian’s contact information.

Give them your pet’s items and food (bowls, toys, baskets, bedding, collar, leash, etc.). Let them know them about your pet’s nourishment, required care, behavior, preferences and special needs. If you are unable to find a good home Take your pet to a local shelter or contact a rescue group if: You have taken all the measures described above and you haven’t managed to find him a good home. You can’t or don’t want to take the steps described above. Your animal is not sterilized. Don’t take the chance of your pet falling into the wrong hands.

Be responsible

Did you know that abandoning a pet is considered animal cruelty under federal law? If you have to give up your pet, NEVER abandon him alone in a vacant home or outside (in the city or the country) in the hope that he will survive or be saved by a good Samaritan. Abandoning your pet is not only irresponsible, but has very serious consequences for the animal.