If you have decided to re-home your pet/s, instead of turning your pet/s into a shelter, where he or she may be killed, there are proactive strategies you can use to increase your chances of success.

Remember, you are your pet’s option for finding a new home. You owe it to your pet to be creative, positive and persistent.

There are many animals needing homes, so finding a new home can take some work. But, there are good homes out there, so try to maintain a positive attitude. Please explore all options you can think of for finding a home – creativity and persistence are usually rewarded.

1) Prepare your pet for adoption.

To increase the chances of successfully finding a new home, it is important for the pet to be:

  • Up-to-date on vaccinations
  • In good health
  • Clean and groomed
  • House-trained and reasonably well-behaved
  • Spayed or neutered

We do not recommend placing an animal in a new home that hasn’t been spayed/neutered. This can result in unwanted litters and undesirable mating behaviors such as mounting. You want your pets to be successful in their new home, so help ensure that by getting them spayed/neutered. Puppies and kittens can be spayed/neutered as young as eight weeks.

Please talk to your veterinarian for more information on spay/neuter and needed vaccinations. Your local shelter may offer low cost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics and possibly obedience training classes.

We suggest doing a Google search of your area to see what is available to you and your pet. For spay/neuter, you can also find information on the SpayUSA website at

2) Photos and description

Photos and descriptions help people to make a connection with an animal.

  • Take several good-quality photos of your pet
  • Make sure your pet is well-groomed, is looking at the camera
  • Compose an ad that describes the pet’s personality, habits, and the things that make the animal special. If your pet has health issues, disabilities or behavioral issues, disclose them. Oftentimes, these are things that potential adopters respond to.
  • Flyers are inexpensive to produce and often highly effective, especially when they include a good photo and description of the animal.
  • Visit where you can combine a photo and the description of your pet into a flyer by following the simple instructions.

3) Get the word out

  • Contact family, friends and co-workers and let them know your pet is in need of a good, loving, quality home. Ask them to get the word out too.
  • Post flyers throughout your community: Veterinarian’s offices, pet food stores, health food stores, supermarkets, churches, health clubs — locations where a good, prospective adopter may see it.
  • Adoption websites are another effective way to find a new home for your pet, such as
  • Contact your local shelter to find out if they have an online adoption page where you could list your pet.
  • If you have a specific breed of dog, research into a breed rescue group to contact about listing your dog for adoption.
  • Contact all rescue organizations and shelters in your area. Do a Google search of rescues and shelters in your area. While they may not be able to take your pet, they may do a courtesy posting on their website or let you bring your pet to an adoption event.
  • Get the pet out meeting people. (This works especially well with dogs.) The more the pet is out and interacting with people, the chances s/he has to meet her/his new family. Take your dog on walks, to the local pet supply store, and to the park.

4) Remind yourself that you are your pet’s best option for finding a loving new home.

While you may think a rescue or shelter would be better at placing your pet because of experience, etc., you are truly the best chance your pet has at finding a good home. You know the animal and can provide first-hand information to prospective adopters and also decide what new home and family would be best. Allowing your pet to remain with you while a new home is found is also less stressful for them than being at a shelter setting, where no matter how nice, stress-related problems can occur: anxiety, aggression, and even illness are common. These reactions are natural to the change in circumstances can make adoption difficult or impossible.

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