Need to find a new home for your animal? Here are some suggestions.

If you think you can’t keep your pet any longer, Much Love would like to help you think again. We’ve got some tools and tips to help you make the most informed decision. You’ll be surprised at the good alternatives that abound.

First, however, remember that your pet, like a young child, is helpless without you. He or she is solely your responsibility. Remember, too, that if you must give up your pet, it may take much longer than you anticipate to find a good home that will keep the animal for the rest of its life. Yes, you can call a shelter, but 1,000 animals are destroyed at Los Angeles shelters every week. And animals brought to these facilities by their owners have only two days before becoming available for adoption or euthanasia. With so many animals competing for love in these overcrowded venues, two days is hardly any time at all, and depending on your pet’s age, health, breed or temperament, it could be even less.

Private no-kill groups like Much Love and breed rescue groups may try to help you find a home, but are usually overwhelmed with their own animals to accept any more. The foster parents with whom Much Love temporarily houses animals are all too few and commonly overburdened themselves. Sometimes they take in more than one animal at a time.

how to begin

Start by reviewing your reason for giving up your pet. Remember, a life is at stake.

you’re moving and the new abode doesn’t accept pets

It’s a dilemma Much Love hears often. However, many apartments, rental homes and condos allow pets and there are an abundance of excellent resources to help you find a pet-friendly rental. For more information on finding a pet friendly apartment – please see our article under Pet Education about searching for apartments.


you don’t have time for a pet anymore

Here’s a true story: Before one of our foster parents got involved with Much Love, she had a deep desire to have a dog, but didn’t want to take on the long-term responsibility. Luckily, a beautiful Golden Retriever named Rusty lived right next door and his extremely busy parents—a doctor and emergency room nurse—needed help. They didn’t even have the time for Rusty’s daily walks. So, when our volunteer-to-be asked if she could walk and play with Rusty, the answer was a resounding ‘’yes, thank you!’’ It was a win-win. The moral is, look around. You, too, might be living near someone who’s aching to deliver the very service you need.

If you’re concerned that your pet is lonely because of your busy schedule, consider getting another pet. And if you live in an apartment and think Fido must have a yard, don’t worry a minute more. Happily, daily walks (which, like daily play and affection, are a must) suffice for most breeds and most pups whose owners have yards spend the bulk of their day sleeping in the space, not gallivanting around it.

Many people assume that their pet will be happier elsewhere. Sadly, they’re often wrong. Adjusting to a new home can cause stress, which in turn can cause separation anxiety, fearfulness, destructiveness and other behavioral issues. These problems, which Much Love encounters in rescued dogs and cats all the time, may lead the pet’s new owner–the person you thought would solve your problem — to likewise abandon the animal.

baby on board

A baby on the way is another reason people site for giving up pets. However, in most cases, unless you’ve got problems with extreme animal aggression or existing allergy problems, child and animal can co-exist. In fact, recent studies in several respected medical journals show that early childhood exposure to animals decreases a child’s risk of developing allergies and asthma. Also, there are many excellent how-tos on acclimating a pet to a new child. Specialized trainers can help, too.

If you think your dog is too aggressive to live with, most people will agree, which can make for a very unhappy ending. Much Love urges you to have your pet evaluated by a professional trainer or vet (please refer to the Much Love recommendation sheet).

Less severe behavioral problems such as jumping on people, escaping the yard and pooping inside the house can be exasperating. However, studies show that people often abandon pets for behavioral problems that could have been solved with help from a trainer and a commitment of time and effort by the owner. Toxo plasmosis is not a real threat, but if you are concerned you can always have you’re animal tested for it.

finances

If you dog or cat develops a medical problem and you can’t afford the bills, many humane groups offer some financial assistance. Some organizations that can help are Pet Assistance and Actors and Others. For more resources please see the list of resources at the bottom of the page.

Placing a sick animal in a shelter is cruel. He or she will be confused and scared at best, euthanized at worst—and may well infect other animals.

recommended tips for rehoming a pet

If, after rethinking your decision, you must give up your pet, we have some suggestions in helping you find your pet a new home.

We cannot take into our care the many animals that people are giving up. However, we can help by listing them on our courtesy listings on petfinder.org, the largest searchable database of adoptable dogs on the web. Please go to our courtesy listings page to learn more.

Advertise, advertise, advertise. You will want your animal to be seen by as many people as possible who might have the opportunity to fall in love and make it their own.

Make up flyers with a cute photo and description of your pet with his statistics and place in vets offices, pet stores, yoga studios, markets or anywhere the type of people whom you would like to see your animal go to might frequent.

Place ads in local newspapers.

Ask rescue groups to show your pet at mobile adoptions or list as courtesy showings on their website.

Because many rescue groups have limited space for new animals that aren’t in danger of being euthanized, the longer you can foster the animal until it finds a home, the better chance you will have for rescue organizations to lend a helping hand.

We recommend asking for a small adoption fee of $50 or so. This will help discourage collectors or undesirable parents.

Screen any potential candidates by asking questions about their history with pets and beliefs. Please feel free to use the Much Love Adoption Application as a guide for recommended questions to ask.

Be sure to do a homecheck to evaluate the living conditions of your pet’s potential new home. You will want to ensure it is a safe environment for him or her and because you know your pets behavior best, you will be evaluate its quality of life in this new space.

list of financial resources:

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