Most people know that pet ownership is a lifelong commitment, but if you found yourself in a situation where you had no other choice than to rehome your pet, would you know what to do?
There are several dos and don’ts for pet owners that can no longer care for their animals, and it can be hard to know how to best navigate through this type of situation.
Michele DeSanti is the founder and president of Remember Me Rescue NY and has helped countless animals find their forever home, many of whom needed to be rehomed for one reason or another.
“Start by contacting the breeder you used or the rescue you adopted from. Most legitimate breeders and rescues will take their animals back if they can no longer be cared for,” DeSanti says. “If your pet comes from another source, reach out to your veterinarian as they may be able to refer you to a client looking to adopt. You may also want to reach out to local rescues/shelters and offer to foster until the animal is adopted. Be sure to inquire as to whether they perform reference checks and home visits.”
In the event you need to rehome a family member’s pet, enlist other members of the family to help foster until a rescue can safely place the animal. Under no circumstances should an animal be released outside, given to a stranger, or listed on Craigslist or a social media marketplace.
“I think the biggest mistake people make is not considering all the responsibilities of pet ownership before they bring home a pet,” DeSanti says. “Factors such as income/finances, children in the home and how they will interact with another animal, if your current living space allow pets, etc. All of these concerns must be addressed before committing to pet ownership.”
If you still feel as though your pet isn’t working out in your home, take a step back and assess the situation. Enlist a trainer and/or speak to your veterinarian about any problems. They may be able to offer the help that you and your pet need.
“Please remember these are lives you are playing with and it’s only fair to do right by them,” DeSanti says.