Rehoming Your Pet: I Can’t Keep My Dog Where Can I Take Him?

Instructions on How to Locate a Loving and Responsible Home for Your Pet

Do you feel that you are unable to care for your pet in the way that you once did and now want to find it a new home? It’s possible that a behavioral issue has you feeling frustrated. Or perhaps your child is allergic to the family pet. Or perhaps you are having a hard time locating rental housing that is willing to allow your pet.

Because there are so many issues that can arise with pets, it’s possible that you’ll come to the conclusion that the only option is to give them up. But before you go to such extreme measures, you should be aware of the wealth of resources that are available to assist people who are responsible for the care of pets, such as yourself, in resolving issues that may appear to be insurmountable.

Behavior Problems

Consider scheduling an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian if you are having issues with the manner in which your pet behaves. It’s possible that a medical condition that can be treated is the root of many of your issues. For instance, a urinary tract infection rather than a behavioral issue could be the cause of a housetrained pet’s sudden onset of inappropriate urination inside the home. Your veterinarian will be able to rule out the possibility that the issue is caused by a physical condition. They may also be able to provide you with a referral to an animal behaviorist or trainer in your community who possesses the experience and expertise necessary to assist you in addressing the behavioral issue that your pet is exhibiting.

In addition, there are a number of websites on the internet that provide users with helpful advice on how to deal with their pets’ behavioral issues. In point of fact, the Pets for Life campaign of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) features more than 43 informative web pages that discuss common pet behavioral issues.

Problems with Housing

According to a recent investigation, “moving” and “landlord won’t allow” are two of the most common causes for people to give their pets up to animal shelters. Visit the website run by the Humane Society of the United States if you are moving and having trouble finding housing that is friendly to animals or if you are experiencing other challenges related to housing your pets.

Issues Relating to Health

Have you or a member of your family been diagnosed with a condition (such as an allergy or an infection that causes the immune system to become compromised) that makes it difficult for you to keep your pet? Has a medical professional seriously suggested that you give up your pet? Before you take such a drastic action, you should read our information about the ways in which you can assist a person who suffers from allergies or immunosuppression to keep their pet without compromising their health or comfort.

Finding a Good Home for Your Pet

You have a number of choices available to you in the event that you ultimately decide that you cannot keep your pet.
Your neighborhood animal shelter is your best option for finding information. The majority of animal shelters conduct interviews with prospective adopters to determine whether or not they are able to offer your pet a home that is secure, responsible, and loving. Visit the websites or to begin your search for an animal shelter in your area. This will be the easiest place to start your search. You can find a list of local animal shelters, animal control agencies, and other organizations that care for animals in your community by entering your zip code in the box provided on this page. You could also try looking in the phone book that you have. Look in the Yellow Pages under listings such as “animal shelter,” “humane society,” or “animal control” to find the location of an animal shelter. Animal shelters go by a variety of names. The health department or the police department of a city or county is typically where one can find a listing for public animal care and control agencies. You can also get information by dialing 411 in your phone.

If you own a dog that belongs to a particular breed, there may be a breed rescue organization in your region that is willing to take him in and help him find a new family to call his own. Rescue organizations for purebred animals are typically run by individuals who have extensive expertise in a particular breed. Animal shelters and rescue organizations care for adoptable animals until they can find permanent, loving homes for them. Get in touch with the animal shelter in your area or go online to websites such as or to find a rescue organization that focuses on the breed of dog you own. You can also contact The HSUS at 202-452-1100 and ask to speak to someone in the Companion Animals section. They will be able to assist you in determining whether or not there is a breed-rescue group in your area.

There are instances in which breed rescues only collaborate with other animal shelters and do not take in animals directly from their owners. Before giving up your pet, it is important to do as much research as possible on the rescue organization, and you should never give up your pet without first thoroughly vetting the organization. You need to make sure that the current animal residents appear to be well cared for, that the group screens potential adopters, and that the group offers support services for adopted pets after they have been adopted. Asking questions is something you should not be afraid to do.

If you choose to look for a new home for your pet on your own rather than relying on a local animal shelter or rescue organization, you need to make sure that the welfare of the animal is your primary concern throughout the process. It’s not always easy to track down a good new home for a pet. A home that is considered to be “good” for an animal is one in which they will spend the rest of their lives, where they will be given attention, veterinary care, proper nutrition, and where they will be treated as members of the family.

If you decide to look for a new home for your pet on your own, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • In the event that your efforts to publicize your business are unsuccessful with family, close associates, and local veterinarians, you can always turn to the local newspaper. Checking references with a person you already know will increase the likelihood that you will find a suitable place to live.
  • You should take your pet on a tour of the potential new home so that you can get a sense of the atmosphere in which they will be living. Explain that the animal is a member of your family, that you want to ensure she will be cared for properly, and that you want to observe how the animal reacts to the new environment because you consider her part of your family. Carefully evaluate potential places to live.
  • Don’t let yourself be duped. Do not leave your pet with anyone who won’t let you into their home or who won’t let you visit their home. People who are known as “bunchers” routinely respond to “free-to-good-home” ads by pretending to be families looking for new pets for their households when, in reality, they are selling the animals on to other businesses that deal in animals. Dogfighters have also been known to acquire domestic animals for use as bait through the use of advertisements stating that the animals are “free to a good home.” These individuals are considered to be “professionals,” and when they pick up pets, they might even bring their children or their mothers along with them.
  • When you go to interview prospective adopters or when you allow a prospective adopter to enter your home, you should always keep your own safety in the forefront of your mind.
  • Take into consideration all of the following aspects of the new house: Is it possible that your young children won’t bother your pet? Is it the intention of the family to keep the dog chained up in the yard and use it as a watch dog? Will the cat be used for nothing else but to catch mice? Is there a member of the family who has experience in veterinary medicine? Do not be embarrassed to seek clarification or ask questions. It’s possible that the life and happiness of your pet are riding on this decision.
  • Demand that the individual provide a legitimate form of identification, preferably a driver’s license. You should make a note of the number for your own records, and you should require the new owner to sign a contract that outlines the requirements of adoption that are acceptable to both parties. Include a provision in the contract that requires the new owner to get in touch with you if they ever come to the conclusion that they can no longer care for the animal.
  • Before you move, make sure that your animal companion has either been neutered or spayed. As a result, the animal will be easier to adopt, which will contribute to the reduction of irresponsible breeding.
  • It may be challenging to find a good home for your animal companion if he suffers from a persistent illness or has behavioral issues. It is possible that the new owner will not be willing or able to deal with these issues, and it is also possible that the pet will have a difficult time adjusting to the new environment. The decision to put such a pet to sleep in a humane manner should not be made without the family’s, the family veterinarian’s, and the behaviorist’s thoughtful input first. This input should be based on how well the family believes their companion would adjust to a new environment.

It can be a challenging and time-consuming process to find a good home for your pet that is suitable for them. Keep in mind that the staff at your community’s animal shelter is qualified and has received training to screen adopters and provide counseling. It’s possible that giving your pet up to the animal shelter in your area will be the best decision for both you and the animal.

This article was taken with the Humane Society of the United States’s permission from their website, which can be found at

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