Read Before You Rehome Your Pet

I saw this post on facebook today and thought it was really great. The author hits the nail on the head and speaks the truth–NO MORE EXCUSES–about rehoming pets.

**No More Excuses** By Jennifer Stacy Remeta

I’m really, REALLY tired of hearing why you can’t keep the animal you decided to buy, adopt, take in, etc.  I’m even more tired of hearing why you think it should be a rescue’s responsibility to find a home for that animal.  So in an effort to save time, and before you contact me wanting me to ‘take’ something, read this over.  It’ll save us both some time and energy. EXCUSES AND SOLUTIONS TO YOUR PET PROBLEMS: 1. We just can’t keep it. -You adopted it or bought it, it’s now your responsibility.  It’s not a magazine that you’ve read, no longer want, and can just toss in the garbage.  It’s a living breathing animal that relies on you for it’s safety and well-being. If you still ‘just can’t keep it’ then take an ad out in the paper.  Put a flyer up at work.  Send some emails, make some phone calls.  Let people know you are looking for a home for your pet.  And when people do respond, and they will if you put in a little effort, make sure you ask them questions.  Find out the kind of life YOUR animal is going to have.  Be nosy.  The right adopters will understand and be more than happy to answer your inquiries. 2. We’re moving and can’t take our pet with us.  – When you decided to take this animal home you made it a part of your family.  As such, if you decide to move, you need to put in a little extra time and effort and find a place to go that will allow animals. If you are allergic to birds, you wouldn’t stay in a hotel with down filled pillows.  So if you’re a pet owner, WHY would you consider moving somewhere that didn’t allow pets?  In today’s economy, even those places advertising themselves as ‘no pets allowed’ will often permit them with a vet reference and/or pet deposit if you just make the effort to ask. If you must make a sudden move, ask friends or family to keep your pet temporarily while you get moved and settled in. 3. We had a baby.  – Contrary to popular belief, it is very possible, and usually very easy to raise a baby when you already have a pet.  If you are concerned about a cat’s litterbox, buy a self cleaning litter pan.  If you don’t want the animal in your baby’s room, put up a gate or use a repellant spray (available at ALL pet stores) just outside the door of the room. Yes, having a newborn can be extremely exhausting.  But being tired is not an excuse to dump your loved ones. With a little bit of effort, your pets can be the best friends and best protectors your child will ever have. 4. It needs too much attention. – In MOST of these cases, it is not tons and tons of attention your pet needs, but training.  Take the time to enroll in an obedience class.  You’ll be amazed at the difference.  For those animals needing LOTS of exercise, hire a pet sitter to come in once a day to give your pet interaction and exercise.  Talk to your local pet store manager about the best toys to relieve your pets boredom when you aren’t home.  Or put your pet in ‘day care’.  5. My schedule has changed. – I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.  If your schedule changes drastically, it probably will be stressful for your pet, at least for a while.  But they will adjust.  And they will adjust much easier to the stress of a new schedule than they will to the stress of being dumped off among strangers with no idea where you went or what they did wrong. 6. I just can’t afford it. – Contact your local shelter, humane societies, and rescues.  Most of these organizations are more than happy to provide pet food and basic veterinary care for those having trouble making ends meet.  There are also many organizations that can be found online who are willing to help provide financial assistance and/or food and veterinary care when needed.  If there is no end in sight to your financial hardship, see #1. 7. It started going to the bathroom everywhere. – More often than not, a previously housetrained animal that starts to eliminate indoors has an underlying medical issue that needs attention.  Cats and dogs can get urinary tract infections just like people do.  If your animal is not spayed/neutered, get it done.  Hormones play a big role in ‘marking’ or eliminating in the wrong places.  Give retraining a try.  Crate the animal when you are not with it, and when you are give it plenty of chances to go potty outside (or in a litterbox), and plenty of praise when it does. At the absolute worst, if your animal must spend more time outdoors, it is still better than ending up dead on a table at your county shelter. 8. It doesn’t get along with my other animals. – Once again, most of the time, this goes back to a training issue.  Talk to a trainer, see what your options are.  In many cases, obedience training and reestablishing yourself as the alpha animal will take care of this problem.  In the case of high prey drive animals, keep the pets separated while you consult the rehoming options in #1. 9. It will have a chance to find a loving home at the shelter. – Bottom line is the shelter does everything it can, but there are WAY TOO MANY being dumped daily for your pet to have a reasonable shot at finding a home.  Do not fool yourself.  Odds are much, MUCH better that your pet, who loves and trusts you, will end up dead in a black trash bag in a matter of days.  If you think I’m being overdramatic, go do a walk through at your local county animal control and just look at the number of animals there.  What do you think happens to the animals that have been there a week, or two weeks, when new animals come in?? 10. If you have tried to find a home for you animal on your own and are having no luck, try contacting breed specific rescues first.  They usually will have waiting lists of people looking for certain breeds.  If your animal is a purebred mix, it is still worth a try to contact them.  Many times they can at least put up a referral listing for you.  Contact other area rescues and let them know you need help.  If you can continue to keep  and take care of YOUR pet in the interim, but can send photos and info to various rescues, you have a better shot of finding a home.  ALL rescues are short on foster homes.  Being able to keep your pet an extra week or two might just be the difference between a yes or a no. Rescues work hard to save as many companion animals as possible. They are overworked, underpaid (since they usually get paid NOTHING), and severely under appreciated.  They are full of animals needing homes and animals needing veterinary care, and their finances are almost always stretched to the breaking point. IT IS NOT their responsibility to find your pet a new home, IT IS YOURS.  If you can’t put the extra effort in, then be prepared to live with yourself when that pet you just HAD to have spends it last moments on a cold metal table, wondering where you went and what it did so wrong.

Just my little $.02: for Gods sake, please DO NOT put a sappy FREE to GOOD HOME ad on Craigslist …

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