10 Top "Must Know" Tips Before Surrendering Your Pet

Read about the most common problems pet owners face and possible solutions. Learn tips on how to find a new home for your pet without having to bring your cat or dog into a shelter.

You must CAREFULLY consider taking your pet to a humane shelter. Relinquishing your pet may be the hardest thing you ever have to do!

1. Consult with a dog trainer or other animal professional for guidance. If your dog needs obedience training, there are many good programs in your community at reasonable cost, including low-cost programs at neighborhood pet marts.
Their nationally recognized team of animal behaviorists offers possible solutions to a wide range of issues at no charge. With their easy-to-use database, you'll receive step-by-step advice - without leaving home. Visit their virtual website on the bottom of the page.

2. If you need temporary or long-term boarding, there are many options in your community. There are boarding facilities with a wide range of prices, and many veterinary clinics and hospitals now offer short-term and long-term boarding too.

3. If you are moving, it is now relatively easy to safely transport animals to your new home. Please do not surrender an animal just because you think it is a hassle to transport him or her to a new location.

4. If you are moving to a new apartment, it is not difficult to find apartment communities that allow companion animals. Before signing a new lease, ensure that your animal(s) will be welcome, or look for new housing! *On the bottom of
this page there is list of 100's of pet friendly apartments for rent, nationwide.

5. TIPS for Finding Your Pet A Home. Taking the time to find a new home for your pet yourself is the best, healthiest, most responsible thing you can do. It will give your pet a much smoother transition to its new life without you.

Do NOT be naive, though. Your pet loves and trusts you and this will be a terrible setback both emotionally and physically for him/her. Because your pet sees you as his/her family, this IS a betrayal…even though in the long run it may be for the best.

Petfinders will post your pet on their website and also give you a comprehensive list of tips for finding a home for your pet.

Take some good color photos. Focus on illustrating your pets most adorable qualities and her favorite activities. If your dog is crazy about fetching, for example, take a picture of her happily posing with her favorite ball.
  • Put up posters and fliers at pet stores, dog daycares, dog parks, veterinary clinics, boarding facilities and pet grooming salons. Be sure to include your telephone number or e-mail address so that interested parties can easily reach you.
  • Make a bandana or a t-shirt for your dog that says, “Adopt me!” Then you can take her on walks to show her off. Go to outdoor caf├ęs, parks where
    Dogs Bandana 
    people walk dogs and other areas with high foot traffic. 
  • Place an ad in your local newspaper. Include the best photo of your dog and your written description of her. When people see the ad and contact you, screen applicants carefully. 
  • Charge a fee! Unless you’re placing your dog with a friend or relative, charge an adoption fee. Doing so is likely to discourage anyone with malicious intentions. If an individual wants to adopt your dog for the right reasons, a nominal fee should not deter him or her.
6. Financial Resources for Pet Owners
Here is a list of organizations that provide financial assistance for pet owners in need. Each organization has its own rules and guidelines, so explore their web sites before applying. Some are listed nationwide, and some are listed alphabetically by state.

NOTICE: If your animal requires emergency veterinary care and you cannot afford treatment, click here to contact groups or veterinary schools that may help. If you are unsure what qualifies as emergency veterinary care, call your veterinarian and describe the symptoms.

7. Craigslist 
In recent years, Craigslist has been the top source for animal abusers, back-yard breeders and dog fighters to find their victims.

These abusers will dress nicely, show affection and concern for your pet in your presence, but commit unspeakable acts of torture after your pet is in their hands. 

Many pets are murdered by human hands or used as bait for dog fighters who force other animals to kill your beloved pet. Because of the anonymity of the internet, these people are never caught and go on to kill again. 

8. If all else fails, and you decide to surrender your pet, please don't give him up to a KILL Shelter...because that's what they'll do. If your pet is thin, doesn't like to sit still for shots or just about any little thing you can think of, they will put your pet down!
Only one out of every 4 animals that ends up in a shelter is adopted, meaning over 75 percent die on a cold metal table having spent the last few days of their lives terrified behind bars, wondering when their family is coming back.

9. Contact Animal Rescue Groups in your area or a NO KILL Shelter. They can help you! For an extensive list of Rescue Groups and Shelters in your area, click here

10. What NOT to Do
Do not take your dog or cat to a neighborhood, wooded area or park and “set her free.” 

Domestic dogs and cats are very different from their wild ancestors and can’t fend for themselves. If left alone, your pet may starve to death, encounter dangerous predators or get hit by a motor vehicle. 

If you can’t re-home your pet for some reason, please take her to a local humane society, NO KILL Animal Shelter or to a Rescue Group who usually will provide a foster home for your pet.

Do not re-home your pet or relinquish her to a shelter without disclosing all relevant information about her behavior. 

For example, failing to tell a prospective adopter or a shelter that your dog has an aggression problem - especially if she has bitten someone in the past - can endanger well-meaning people who are just trying to do the right thing by adopting a dog. Inform them if your cat is shy at first, but will warm up to them eventually!

Many people seem to decide to discard an animal in a fit of rage or frustration, robbing their companion animal of the thought and care which they require. 

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. 

I just hope I changed one persons mind about taking their dog or cat to a shelter, a humane society, or buying a pet from a store. Please make your final decision carefully, exhausting all reasonable steps. His or her life may very well depend on you!

In conclusion, your animal needs you! Please rise to the challenges so that your family can remain intact...human and companion animal.

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