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Things To Know When Finding A Pet A New Home

Saturday, January 5, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

There may be times when we are forced to give up our beloved pet. These should always be extraordinary circumstances where an owner has passed away and the children are unable to take the pet or you found a stray dog but cannot keep him. Petfinder.com has published a detailed article on the things that you should know and do when finding a pet a new home.

You have found a lost or abandoned pet and you would like to find him/her a new home.

The first thing you need to do is determine that no one is looking for this pet. State laws on lost pets vary. A good rule of thumb is to make at least two or three attempts to find the previous owner (make posters, place newspaper ads and radio announcements, notify local police departments, and humane organizations). After seven days (NJ state law) a lost pet is considered adoptable. This also gives you necessary time to observe important personality traits in the pet that will help you find it the best new home. If you can’t keep the pet for a week, consider boarding the pet in a kennel or vet’s office. This will cost money, but the peace of mind is well worth it. Ask for a discount since it is a rescued dog (it can’t hurt to ask).

See below for a list of questions to ask potential adopters. Try contacting a local rescue group to help with the interviews. They are good at it and are usually willing to help! Never offer your animal for free. If you choose to give it to the new family after the adoption screening, that is your choice, but advertising “FREE” is just asking for trouble (yes, pet collectors–for animal research–are a real problem, as are people collecting for purposes of training for dog fights, meals, and other horrifying things to pet lovers). Our recommendation is to at least ask for a reimbursement of veterinary costs.

You are trying to find a new home for your own pet

Relinquishing your pet may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. It may be a result of divorce, allergies, the birth of a child, uninformed choices, and sometimes irresponsibility or a change in lifestyle. People in these situations often unload their pet at a shelter because it is the quickest way to do an uncomfortable thing. Remember, many are over-crowded and usually between 66% – 95% of the animals taken in are put “to sleep.” Pets that aren’t often suffer terribly from loneliness and confusion from being abandoned into a harsh environment. Some “pounds” do not have adoption procedures, and others are so overrun with unclaimed pets, that they screen potential adopters poorly, if at all. Other types of shelters are “no-kill” (these usually only destroy un-adoptable, sick, or aggressive pets). No-kill organizations, as well as rescue groups are often under-funded and over-crowded as well. They may refuse to take your animal because they only have room for the strays that they must take.

Taking the time to find a new home for your pet yourself is the best, healthiest, most responsible thing you can do. It will give your pet a much smoother transition to its new life without you. Do NOT be naive, though. Your pet loves and trusts you and this will be a terrible setback both emotionally and physically for him/her. Because your pet sees you as his/her family, this IS a betrayal…even though in the long run it may be for the best.

See below for a list of questions to ask potential adopters. Try contacting a local rescue group to help with the interviews. They are good at it and are usually willing to help! Never offer your animal for free. If you choose to give it to the new family after the adoption screening, that is your choice, but advertising “FREE” is just asking for trouble (yes, pet collectors–for animal research–are a real problem, as are people collecting for purposes of training for dog fights, meals, and other horrifying things to pet lovers).

Maybe you are one of those rare special people (like us) who find stray, abandoned animals every time you leave your home

If this is you, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • These are dangerous situations. Don’t take them lightly. Try to get experienced help. NEVER force an animal into your car if they seem uncomfortable (some animals flip out when the car starts).
  • Align yourself with a rescue organization or animal shelter. You may choose to join one of these groups or you may choose simply to develop a relationship with them. For instance, some people help animal shelters find homes for their pets by placing newspaper ads, updating their Petfinder.com pet list, or paying for spaying and neutering. In turn, some shelters are willing to work with these individuals by providing boarding. Organizations that have good screening procedures are often more than willing to share those with you, and often will even help do interviews.
  • Develop a relationship with several local veterinarians who will help you ensure that the pets you place in new homes are healthy, have their vaccines, and are spayed or neutered. Assure them that the vet records will be passed along to the new owner along with your recommendation of the vet!
  • Get a tetanus shot immediately. Stray cat and dog bites are common in rescue. These animals are stressed and often afraid (especially when they meet your Fido for the first time). If scratched by a cat, get medical attention immediately. Cat scratch fever can be serious if not treated quickly. If treated quickly, it is just a lesson learned. Invite an animal home with you ONLY if you have a safe means of transporting him/her. It is not recommended to let a strange animal ride loose in your car. Borrow a crate from an animal rescue group or shelter. When you find an abandoned pet, don’t over feed it. Especially if you plan on trasporting it. Carry a leash and or cat carrier in your car at all times. Bottled water and canned cat food are also nice to have on hand.
  • DEFINITELY make sure your own pet is more than up-to-date on his/her vaccinations. Even vaccinated dogs can get PARVO-virus. There are no vaccines for some pet illnesses. Many rescue workers will NEVER bring a pet into their own home until it has had a thorough vet check. Until you can get the new pet to a vet, separate him/her from your pets, especially if you suspect he/she may be sick.
  • Consider boarding the pet in a kennel or vet’s office. This will cost money, but the peace of mind is well worth it. Ask for a discount since it is a rescued dog (it can’t hurt to ask). Average fees range from $5-20 per day, depending upon the boarding kennel, the size of the pet, and the discount they are willing to give you.

Remember your pets count!

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