I’d like to think that everyone that has a pet plans to keep it for the length of the pet’s life. Sometimes we are in a situation where we have a pet that we cannot keep in our home. Maybe you have found a stray, or have become seriously ill. This article is not to debate whether or not you should find a new home for a pet. I am writing this on the premise that you have searched for every possibility to keep your pet and it cannot be done. Now, you need to find a pet a new home. Here are options.
1. All dogs should have ID collars and be micro-chipped. Make sure that if you move or change your phone number to update the tags and contact the chip company to update your information. If you find a stray, this is the first thing to check to reunite the pet with its owner. Please do not assume a dirty or hungry dog has been neglected or abused by their owner. The dog may have been lost for an extended period of time. Their owner may be frantically searching for their beloved pet.
2. Keep a stray safe but separate from your family pets. Often strays may have parasites, fleas, and other more serious illnesses from being left to fend for themselves. A spare crate can be used temporarily. Be careful housing a pet loose in a garage unless all the hazards are safely out of reach.
2. Because the owner may be looking for this pet, take the pet to the closest shelter to where you found the dog -But tell them that if the owner is not found and no one adopts the dog that you want last rights to the pet. This will allow you to keep the dog from being euthanized due to overcrowding at shelters. Shelters are always near or at full capacity. They take all pets -sick, dying, old, and neglected. The numbers are staggering.
3. Post pictures and a description of the pet to all of your social media platforms. Get the word out. Post the animal ID for the shelter. Ask your connections to share the post freely. Facebook and NextDoor are especially helpful for things like this.
4. If the dog is not redeemed by the owner or adopted, please redeem the pet and follow the tips for when you already own the dog.
Dogs that are not strays
This is what you can do when you need to re-home a pet for yourself, family, or friends...
1. Keep or foster the dog as applicable until you find a good appropriate home for the pet. Many rescue groups rely heavily on fosters to help keep dogs and cats alive while waiting for a forever home.
2. Share the word. Tell your friends, family, church members, co-workers that you need help. Do not let community guilt or shame keep you from saving this animal. Post on Facebook groups, NextDoor.
3. Do not offer the pet “free to good home”. Unfortunately the days of being able to offer this to strangers is OVER. Illegal dog fighters troll places like craigslist and Facebook for free pets to use as bait animals. It is an evil practice. But it is prevalent nonetheless. It is a horrible brutal death sentence to the animals.
4. Contact Rescue groups. Contact them ALL. Most will be full. Ask them to advertise your pet on their page while you foster the pet if that is possible. Do not get discouraged. People want to help.
I hope that that this helps someone save a pet. Share to anyone you think might need this. My dog is a rescue and I am so thankful to have her in my life. She is truly the best part of most days for me.