Tips for Keeping Pets from Ending Up in the Wrong Hands

Every year, millions of people around the country make the decision to give up their family pet. Some may be dealing with an unplanned litter of kittens, while others may feel they can no longer take care of their animal for other reasons.

 Shelters around the country take in 5-7 million animals per year, with half of them coming from pet owners who relinquish the animal to the shelter. Problem is, 60 percent of those dogs and 70 percent of those cats, on average, will be euthanized.

If someone does feel they need to place their animal, they should make every effort to find it a safe and loving home. It is all too easy for the animals to fall into the wrong hands.

While the odds at these over-crowded are against the animals, things are often not much better outside of a shelter, either.

Whether the animal ends up in a good home often depends on the route that a person takes in getting rid of the pet.

There are people out there that look for free animals so they can sell them off to research, use them in dog fights, or use them in other abusive ways.

There are ways that pet owners can help to keep the animal out of the wrong hands by:
  • Finding someone they personally know to take the animal. They should always start by asking friends and family if they would like to take the pet.
  • Asking for references, including a veterinarian to make sure other animals in the home are spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccines and annual check-ups.
  • NEVER advertise the animal as being free. This opens the doors to the animal ending up with someone who will not care for it properly.
  • If someone you don’t know very well is referred to you for taking the pet, visit the potential home so you can see first-hand the type of place the animal would live. Notice whether there are other pets and, if so, how they are being cared for. Discuss with the person whether they will have the time and funds that it takes to care for the pet.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is important to be aggressive in this matter so that you can learn more about the person and help protect the pet.
  • Call a local rescue group to see if they can help with referrals or any paperwork that needs to be done.
  • Only use trusted sites, such as AdoptAPet and PetFinder, to offer information about your pet. Other advertising sites are often targeted sites for predators looking to collect animals.
  • Always charge something for the pet. Your pet should be spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations and health care. People tend to value things more that they pay for, and those looking to collect them for research or other abusive means will most likely not want to pay anything for them.
The best thing to do is first try to keep your pet and address the issue at hand.

After exhausting those avenues, if you still need to re-home the pet, always take these precautionary measures to help keep it safe when it leaves your house. It makes a big difference in assuring that the animal can continue to live out its life in a healthy, happy home.

This story was posted in Facebook, and it tugged at my heart...


We want to remind everyone to KNOW where you are sending that dog (or cat). Please do not give a pet to just anyone without making sure you know you are sending that dog to a good place. We see soooo many people running out to adopt and give a dog to anyone who says I will take that dog/cat. We find it frightening :( Please practice responsible rescue. Saving lives is about more than just pulling a dog out of a shelter. Rescue starts when the dog leaves the shelter.