Few things are more difficult than giving up a pet, and it is never something to be done lightly. But sometimes circumstances require it, and then the question becomes, how to do this correctly, with the least negative consequences for the animal.
First, however, explore all the options that might enable you to keep your pet – that is, if you truly want to. One of the least-discussed reasons for giving up a pet is that the relationship simply didn’t work. You had hopes, but you and the pet never bonded. In those cases, the animal may actually be better off re-homed, with a chance at a more positive life.
But also consider the possibility that the fault for the lack of bonding may be yours, and may still be fixable. If the problem is behavioral, remember that behaviors can be changed if you’re willing to do the research and make the effort. In fact, the behavior of pets, even older, seemingly settled-in-their-ways pets, is far more malleable than most adult human behavior! So don’t give up tooeasily.
If the re-homing of the animal is an absolute necessity, then take some time to identify the best possibility. And be sure the pet is ready, which means that it has been spayed or neutered, and its vaccinations are up-to-date.
Talk to everyone you know. Friends, family, co-workers, your veterinarian, the animal’s original breeder. Often this is enough to do the trick. People will frequently “go the extra mile” to help out when an animal is concerned. P
ost on social media such as; facebook.com, pinterest.com, nextdoor.com, instagram.com, etc. Nextdoor.com is extra effective, what better platform than your neighbors to get the word out about your pet.
A pet adoption service such as Petfinder, or elsewhere. I think that Petfinder is a particularly good option; a huge number of animal lovers visit the site every day. I once found a perfectly delightful cat through Petfinder, and traveled to the next state to pick it up. Never say your pet is FREE, always charge a surrender fee when relinquishing your pet. Craiglist can be a tricky arena and last thing you want is to have your pet used as a guinea pig for experiments or worse. So, be extra cautious with Craigslist.
Wherever you list the availability of your pet, include as many photographs and details as you can, and be scrupulously honest. That will win you respect and increase the chances of a good placement.
When you get responses, and you should, meet with the interested people and screen them carefully. Charging a small fee is one way of gauging a potential adopter’s seriousness and is perfectly appropriate.
When you do decide on a new owner, make it easy on them by including as many accessories as possible. Carriers, cages, toys, unused food and treats, and so on.
Find a rescue group or “no kill” shelter. In the San Diego area, there are a number of good ones, including:
Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe
They can help with dogs and cats. They can also assist with free pet spaying.
San Diego Humane Society, San Diego, Escondido, and Oceanside
Their website affirms that they only euthanize animals “when medically or behaviorally necessary”. They handle all types of pet animals, not just dogs and cats but also rabbits, rodents, reptiles, birds, and even horses.
Second Chance Dog Rescue, San Diego
A dog specialist. Like many such outfits, they take in adoptable animals from local government pounds that are in danger of being euthanized for no good reason except lack of space.
Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Encinitas
They handle dogs, cats, and rabbits.
San Diego House Rabbit Society, San Diego
Hope you find this list useful.