For most pet owners, choosing to rehome a cat or dog is a very difficult decision. People realize that pets are bonded to their owners and are likely to experience sadness, grief, anxiety and fear if their family leaves them. Before considering rehoming, it may be helpful to explore the resources available to help you keep your pet if you are moving, having a new baby, experiencing behavior challenges with your pet, or struggling to provide services or supplies for your pet – to name a few.
Sometimes even with help, pet owners are simply not able to keep their pets or pets they have found. If this is true for you, please strongly consider finding your pet a new home with a friend, family member or a responsible person that you trust. If you adopted your pet from a rescue, your adoption contract may require you return the pet to them if you cannot keep it. Even if that is not in the agreement or this is a found pet, a rescue group who knows you may be willing to accept the pet into their program, especially if you agree to foster as they look for an adopter.
If none of these options is possible, you can look for new adopters to take your pet. There are many resources that can help you with rehoming. To prepare, spend some time thinking about your pet’s personality and behavior so you can market your pet. Take some great photos and (if possible) be sure they are up to date on vaccinations as this could make them easier to adopt. Consider charging a rehoming fee as some people look for free pets to sell, harm or to use as bait or laboratory animals.
If you are not successful in finding a new home for your pet, you may wish to take your pet to a shelter. Many pets that are used to living in homes find it difficult to be in a loud and unfamiliar shelter environment. This can cause pets to show signs of stress, making it harder for them to get adopted. Although many Greater Houston shelters release 90 percent of pets to adopters or rescue groups, some pets who become stressed and show signs of aggression or shyness are euthanized for their behavior, the length of time they’ve been in the shelter or a lack of space. If you take your pet to a shelter, be sure to ask questions to understand what may happen if your pet does not leave quickly with an adopter or a rescue. Absolutely never turn your pet loose on the street where they could be injured or killed – doing so is a crime.