We understand that families and individuals experience change or unforeseen circumstances and need somewhere to turn to if their pets no longer fit in with future plans and you need to find them a new family. Unfortunately though, with very limited resources and foster carers we are unable to assist with the surrender of your pet.
There are many reasons why some one may need to relinquish a pet and every case has its own set of peculiarities. Regardless of what your circumstance, please explore all of the possibilities before you resort to giving your pet away. Remember, your pet is your responsibility and it depends on you to do what’s best for their future.
It will take time, effort, persistence and patience to rehome your pet. So if you know that you’re moving or traveling please do not leave the rehoming of your pet until the last minute. This results in the dumping or abandonment of animals who end up wandering the streets, in the pound or dying.
Do you really need to give up your pet?
Thoroughly think this through, do you really want to give up your pet or is it just more convenient? The easiest way isn’t always the best way. Pets should not be seen as a disposable product. Most problems, whether they be behavioural or circumstantial, can be overcome if you are willing to put in some effort.
The most common reasons we hear for rehoming a pet are:
- I don’t have time
At the time of adopting your pet, this should have been a major consideration. There are 24 hours in a day, the least we as pet owners can do is devote 1 of those hours to our pet.
- We’re having a baby
It’s so disappointing to see the amount of surrender cases where a couple have started a family and suddenly don’t have time for or can’t afford their pet. A pet shouldn’t be seen as a disposable product, and as such shouldn’t be discarded once a baby comes along. Some people fear that their dog or cat will smother or injure their baby. With the correct introduction and supervision methods it is perfectly safe and good for a child’s development to grow up with a family pet. Please research online or ask animal professionals of their opinion and advice to keeping your pet once baby arrives.
- I am moving house
If you have pets and need to move, you really should try to find a home that is pet friendly. When you adopt a pet, you should adopt with the intention of owning the pet for the duration of its life, and as such should take your future housing arrangements into consideration.
- The dog digs/barks/escapes
Dogs usually misbehave due to boredom. Provide your dog with toys, take it for regular walks and interact with it on a regular basis. There are dog behavioural classes available. Your dog will benefit from interacting with other dogs and will learn to outgrow its behavioural issues.
- My cat is bored
Cats are generally quite happy to laze around and sleep their days away, but there are times when they’re playful and they should have a range of toys to choose from to keep them entertained. If your cat is scratching furniture, provide it with a scratching post, and try sprays (such as citronella) on the furniture to deter them. Cats love catnip (it helps them to relax), buy a catnip plant or some toys with catnip inside.
- My new pet doesn’t get along with my other pet/s
Animals need to be introduced to each other properly. It is not a good idea to bring your new pet home and expect that it will take an immediate liking to your other pet/s. The introduction phase can take time and as such requires your patience and time to deal with. The arrival of a new pet may be exciting for human family members, but for the animals it can be seen as a threat. The pets should be kept in separate rooms for a period of time. Allow them the chance to hear each other, smell each other through the door and relax in their new environment. Never leave your new pet unsupervised with any of your other pets until you are certain they get along well.
There are many pages online dedicated to providing information on introducing pets.
Advertising your pet
If you have exhausted all options to enable you to keep your pet, there are plenty of ways to advertise your pet to give it the best chance of being adopted.
- Advertise on websites such as Gumtree and Facebook
- Contact your local veterinary clinic and ask if they offer adoption programs
- Place an ad in your local newspaper
- Place flyers in your local supermarket or community news board
Set an adoption fee
When advertising your pet, you should always set an adoption fee. This cost can cover veterinary, travel or advertising fees. Re-homing fees also serve as a screening measure, designed to deter would-be pet owners who are unwilling or unable to spend money on their pets. If people aren’t willing to pay an adoption fee, then you need to consider if they are really ready for the financial responsibility of having a pet and if they would be willing to pay for necessary medical expenses, food etc.
From 1 November 2013, the full Cat Act 2011 took effect and requires all cats that have reached 6 months of age to be:
- Sterilised; and
- Registered with the relevant local government.
Cats will be required to wear a collar and registration tag to ensure that owned cats can be easily identified and returned to their owner.
Your pet deserves the best chance in life, please offer it to them.