At PetRescue, our focus is on helping rescue groups, shelters and pounds find new homes for adoptable animals and educating the community about the benefits of responsible pet ownership. We don’t advertise private pet listings on the PetRescue website, but what you will find here is lots of good, honest advice to help you make the best decision for your pet.
Don’t fret, there may be a way you can keep your pet!
There are many different situations that can lead to pet owners surrendering their loved family pet. Here’s some help, advice and solutions that may help you and your pet stay together.
I need short or long-term crisis care for my pet
If you’re about to go into hospital or a care facility for treatment, or have experienced an unfortunate temporary change in circumstances, there are a few options that will help you and your pet through this difficult time. Find out more about the crisis care options for your pet.
I’m moving house
Don't take rental property ads literally when they state ‘no pets’, often landlords will consider pets if you approach them directly, or find a real estate agent that will help you.
To give yourself a better chance of securing a rental, prepare a Pet CV, include a record of your pet's medical history, training certificates and references from neighbours, previous landlords and veterinarians.
Offer to sign an agreement to define appropriate behaviour for your pet on the rental premises. Encourage the owner/landlord to meet your well-behaved, well-groomed flea-free pet – meeting your furry housemate might just clinch the deal.
I don’t have enough time for the dog
Pets require time and effort, but probably not as much as you think. Dogs need exercise, food and, most importantly, time just being near you.
Dog walking services are relatively inexpensive, but getting exercise is good for your health and well-being too. Taking just half an hour to get out and about with your dog before and/or after work will work wonders for both of you.
Cats and dogs can also benefit from environmental enrichment. Setting aside a few minutes each day to make their lives more interesting could make a big difference to their behaviour. Just google ‘pet enrichment ideas’ and you’ll find plenty of inspiration.
I’m having a baby
When introduced correctly, there shouldn't be any problems with your pet and new baby. Here are some useful resources on bringing a baby into a home with pets.
We have an allergy problem
There are some wonderful products on the market that will help keep you healthy and allergy free, so surrendering your pet for adoption could be the last option. It certainly shouldn’t be your physician's first recommendation.
Look for a physician who will be sensitive to your feelings and do everything possible, within reason, to help you keep your pet and stay healthy.
My pet has behaviour problems
If your pet is badly behaved, it’s highly unlikely that anyone else is going to want to take it on.
Most pet behaviour problems are managed or overcome with the right support and approach. Before you rehome your pet, get advice from a qualified trainer or speak to your vet or a veterinarian behaviourist.
My dog is aggressive
If your dog displays signs of aggression or behaviours that may lead to aggression, you must understand that you are putting others at risk. No matter how much you love your dog, if he has ever bitten anyone, you need to take him to a professional trainer for assessment and rehabilitation.
Surrendering your pet
Make your first call to the breeder, rescue, or person you originally got your pet from. Responsible breeders will either assist you in finding a new home, or take the pet back to rehome themselves. Many rescues also state in their contracts that the pet can be returned to them, no matter how much time has passed.
Shelters and rescue groups often have waiting lists of people needing help to rehome their pet, so don’t expect immediate action. If you are able, offer to keep the pet at your home while the rescue group helps you find a new home.
Make sure you understand the difference between surrendering your pet to a rescue group, shelter and pound. Pounds do not generally offer rehoming programs and they are only legally obliged to hold a pet for up to 72 hours. After this period has passed, your pet could be killed. Some shelters also have time limits. If you are contacting a shelter, make sure they have a no-kill policy.
Use our Rescue Directory to contact rescue groups and shelters in your area who may be able to assist. But be sure to find out the following information before surrendering your pet:
Ask what happens to your pet if they are not rehomed.
Ask if your pet will be housed in a kennel or in foster care. If your pet suffers with anxiety, it would probably be best suited to a foster care environment.
If your pet has behavioural problems, ask what measures the rescue group/shelter will take to address the problems and find a suitable home.
Ask about the care of the pet - how often will he be fed and walked.
Advertising your pet on social media
Some of the best homes are with people who already know and like your pet. Friends and family may be willing to offer your pet a new forever or temporary home, so ask around your immediate circle and share your pet’s profile via social media. Check out our top tips for advertising your pet.