Rehoming A Pet: Give A Pet Up for Adoption

I’ve said before that pets are like family, but even with family sometimes you have to cut contact. There are many reasons why you may not be able to keep your pet any longer. Your reasons might be trivial and not valid to someone else, but it’s your life and you decide what you can deal with and what you can’t. 

Be responsible about giving up your pet. You are the caretaker of this animal’s life and they depend on you for everything. Make sure they are well taken care of if you cannot take care of them yourself. Make sure they are healthy and neutered before you give them away. You don't want your pet to be used for breeding or to accidentally make more animals that need homes.

Find A Way To Keep Your Pet

Many pets become emotionally attached to their owners. Many dogs, birds, pigs, and even cats will miss you and their home very much. It will be traumatic for them. Is there any way you can keep your pet?


cat and a woman with allergiesPhoto by cottonbro studio

It’s my experience and Stephanie Summers-Mayer also says that people with allergies may adapt to having a pet over time. You can get air purifiers, vacuum often, brush the pet and keep them clean. Maybe the allergic person can take medication, or you can keep the pet in an area of the apartment that the person doesn’t go to.


dog and money Photo by Karolina Grabowska: by Karolina Grabowska:

Many areas have programs where you can get help to pay for pet food and pet care. Look into these programs, or try to do a GoFundMe campaign.


Maybe you feel like you are too busy to give the proper attention to your pet. You are afraid they are bored and lonely and they would be better off with someone who could give them more attention. In reality, the chances of you finding someone like that are slim. Could you send your dog to a doggie daycare instead of trying to find them a new home? Maybe you could find a pet sitter to come by and spend some time with them. Maybe a child or young adult in your apartment building would want to give your pet attention.

Pet Behavior

Is your pet being destructive or annoying in some way? Maybe they need training. See if you can find a pet trainer who knows the type of animal you have. The trainer could help you problem-solve how to get your pet to behave better.

Don’t Dump Your Pet

dog that was abandoned Photo by Nothing Ahead: by Nothing Ahead:

If you can’t figure out a way to keep your pet, then find a responsible way of finding them a new home.

Don’t leave them by the side of the road. Don’t leave them in a park. Don’t tie your dog up somewhere and just walk away. Don’t push them out of the car near a shelter and hope for the best.

It’s cruel to the animal to do this. They will probably become prey, get hit by a car, starve, or some other horrible fate. Pets do not do well fending for themselves. Pet rabbits, mice, and other small pets never learned the skills to survive in the wild. 

It is actually illegal in many places to let a pet loose in the wild. These abandoned pets can upset the natural ecosystem by overhunting for food, spreading disease to wild animals and people, or reproducing in the wild and taking over. They can cause car accidents if they wander in the street and a driver swerves to not hit them.

Don’t Give Your Pet To Just Anyone

evil person with pet Photo by BP Miller on UnsplashPhoto by BP Miller

Craigslist is notorious for having a lot of scammers and people who will take your pet and do bad things to it. Other online places like Facebook Marketplace or can also be problematic. If you give your pet to someone you don’t know, they could be telling you a story about how they will take good care of the pet. But that could be just a story and they will use it to feed their own pet, use it as bait for dog fighting, use it in a laboratory, or do some other horrible thing to it. People can be charming and manipulative. They won’t necessarily LOOK like they are up to no good.

Do Ask Friends And Family

group of friends Photo by Joel Muniz on UnsplashPhoto by Joel Muniz

Spread the word through all the people you know that you are looking for a new home for your pet. They may be looking for a pet, or they may know someone who is. If you give your pet to someone you know, you don’t have to worry about a stranger doing bad things to your pet. You may even be able to visit them in their new home!

Do Surrender Your Pet To A Good Rescue Or Shelter

last chance ranch vanPhoto from Last Chance Ranch

There are large shelters, small shelters, pet sanctuaries, and pet rescues that will take your pet and find a good home for them. They will vet all the potential adopters and make sure your pet is going to a good home. Many have foster programs where your pet will be staying in a foster home while they await their furever home. They will charge a surrender fee to you that will help offset the cost of caring for your pet and finding a new home for them

You can find these places by googling “pet shelter near me” or “animal rescue near me”.

Investigate the rescue or shelter before you surrender your pet. Some shelters will euthanize your pet if they don’t get adopted quickly. Other shelters are “no-kill” shelters. But sometimes the living conditions in a no-kill shelter are horrible and the pets are kept in overcrowded cages. A nice foster home is usually preferable to a shelter and smaller rescue groups are often exclusively a network of foster homes. On the other hand, some shelters are very well run and take really good care of all the animals. So investigate before you hand your pet over to them.

You Can Find A New Home For Your Pet Yourself

person on a computer Photo by Polina Zimmerman: by Polina Zimmerman:

I know I said before to be wary of giving your pet to strangers, but you can advertise your pet on places like or Facebook. is a very large platform that connects potential adopters to pets. So you can make a pet profile there. You can also contact breed or species-specific rescues and websites. I found two of my guinea pigs on a guinea pig finder website.

You just need to be able to properly vet the potential adopter. Always charge some sort of adoption fee. Just charging a fee will deter many potential animal abusers from adopting your pet. They will be looking for a free animal.

Don’t give your pet to the first person who comes and don’t give your pet away the same day. Investigate the person.

Always be honest to any potential adopter as to why you are seeking to rehome your pet and any medical or behavioral problems you have experienced. You want the person to know exactly what to expect when they adopt your pet. What is a disadvantage to some people may be an advantage to others. You want the new pet owner to love your pet for who they are.

Perform A Home Visit If Possible

inspecting a home Photo by Alena Darmel: by Alena Darmel:

See where your pet will be living. Check out what other pets are in the house and if there are any children. Is the home set up for a new pet? Do they have all the equipment they will need, like food bowls, leashes, litter boxes, cages, etc.? Is the home pristine to the point where normal pet behavior might be too disruptive to them? Is the home so cluttered that the pet might be in danger? 

If the person lives too far away from you to do a home visit, maybe a pet rescue near them will provide a service to you of looking at the potential adopter’s home.

Get References And Check Them

You want character references to find out if they are responsible and will take proper care of your pet.  Also, ask for vet references if the person has had pets before. See if they took their pet for needed velvet care such as vaccinations and medical assistance if the pet was sick.

Do An Internet Search Of The Person

Do they seem like a good person, based on what comes up when you google their name? Have they been arrested or charged with animal cruelty? Check animal abuser registries for the person’s name if you can.

Investigate But Also Go With Your Gut

Of course, animal abusers can put on a pretty face and seem very charming. So make sure you do due diligence and investigate them. If you feel like something is off about the person, even if you can’t find anything negative about them through your investigations, hesitate about giving your pet to them.

When I adopted my first pig, the person at the rescue kept saying that she wasn’t sure I knew what I was getting into, but she felt like I was a good person and would do well by the pig. I’m so glad she took a chance on me! I have grown and learned a lot from Petunia and his adoptive brother Hammy! (Yes, Petunia is a boy. The rescue named him that, and the name stuck).

Make It Legal

signing a contract Photo by by

You can get forms online to create a pet adoption contract. Make it clear what the adaptive person should do if they can’t keep your pet. Usually, the pet should be returned to you. Also, make it clear that they should take proper care of your pet. You should make sure the pet is healthy and neutered. If a pet is neutered then there is no way they can be used for breeding purposes.


If you are having trouble with your pet, first try your best to fix the problems so you can stay together. If you really do need to rehome your pet, give the pet up for adoption. Do not just dump them and be careful about who you give your pet to. In the future be careful about adopting a pet if you won’t be able to keep them for their entire life. If you want to be around animals you can foster a pet, or find other ways of enjoying animals without adopting one that you won’t keep.

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