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List: Posted: 05/18/11
For many reasons, families are forced to find a new home for their beloved pet. Whether due to allergies, a new baby or personal financial trouble, it's important to take the time to find a great new home so your much-loved pet will be happy and healthy. Even though this can be emotionally difficult for the whole family, there are many precautions that must be taken to ensure you take care of the responsibility you have to your pet.
If the separation is based on financial difficulty rather than a permanent life-change such as having a baby or losing your home, consider asking a friend or family member to take your pet temporarily. You can ask this as a favor, and if you can afford to, contribute a small amount each month for their upkeep. That way, when you get back on your feet, you can have your pet back.
Should you decide you need a more permanent home for your pet, you should always start with friends and family to see if any of them would want to take in your pet. Put a note out via email and via Facebook or Twitter (if you're tech-savvy). Your neighbor of co-worker may surprise you by agreeing to adopt your pet. This method has the added bonus that you will still be able to see your pet if you wish.
If you're not having any luck in your circle of friends, it's time to look for another solution. Take several good-quality pictures of your pet, and create a poster you can display at work or at your local community center or library. You can also create a listing in your local newspaper or through an online classified service such as Craigslist or Petfinder.com.
When placing a classifieds advert for your pet, it's important to always charge an adoption fee to ensure you find someone that is committed to giving your pet a great home. The last thing you want is for a neighborhood kid to adopt your beloved pet because 'it's free' and then turn it loose on the streets when they find they can't afford to feed it. Dogs given away for free are often perceived by their owners as having no value, and will usually end up at the pound if the new home doesn't work out. (If you charge a fee, the new owner will at least make an effort to find the pet a decent new home to recoup their costs, rather than giving the animal to the pound straight away.)
If you are rehoming your pet through an online pet adoption service, you should have an application the new owner has to fill out so you can verify their ability to care for your pet. This is particularly important for exotic animals like tropical fish, iguanas and other reptiles, who may die in the space of a week if the new owner is not aware of the animal's special requirements in terms of diet and tank temperature.
If the animal is a particularly beloved family pet, consider doing a home inspection so you can see for yourself where your 'fur baby' is going to end up. Be suspicious of any prospective owner who won't let you do a home inspection. Anyone who is serious about taking care of your pet will jump at the chance to show off their home and get to know you and your pet before the adoption.
If all your attempts at adoption fail, the local animal shelter should be your last resort, not your first. It's heartbreaking, but be aware that all shelters are NOT 'no-kill' shelters. Even if your pet is a happy, well trained and healthy pedigree animal, most shelters will only keep each animal for a set amount of time (usually between 1-3 weeks) before putting him or her down. This is due to the high volume of animal received in shelters nationwide. Each year, 6-8 million animals are surrendered every year to pet shelters in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanized - that figure gives your pet only a 50% survival rate. Be aware of these numbers when making the decision to surrender your pet to an animal shelter.
If you would like to find a no-kill animal shelter, ask your veterinarian or look online in your local community. There is often a long waiting list for no-kill shelters, so don't take it personally if your animal is turned away at first. Such centers are often overwhelmed and under-funded, so you won't help them if you make a fuss when they ask for you to kindly wait for an available cage or kennel. Be nice to these people, wait your turn, and support them with fundraisers and donations in future if they are able to take your pet. No-kill shelters are many family's only hope in these tough economic times.
Taking the time to find your pet the right home will give you peace of mind and comfort through the process of having to give them up. Be sure to educate yourself before you make your decision, so you can rest assured you did the best you could for your beloved pet.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information