Re-homing pets who are your own or pets you have found can be stressful. However it can be done in a responsible way. Our local organizations are often very overwhelmed, they have saturated all of their contacts and are mostly run by volunteers.

The Pet Rescue Library offers lots of information about how to safely re-home a pet. Sample adoption applications and contracts are given as well as lots of other good advice.

Please be sure to keep all cats inside at the new home for a minimum of two weeks so they know where they belong and learn the sounds and smells. Often owners release cats too soon and they become lost and are not recovered.

We have some helpful tips as well:

  • For kittens and cats; if you have other cats in your home keep them separated in the beginning to promote household harmony. An office or even a bathroom will work to keep the found cat safe and keep your cat happy.
  • List in the posting that an adoption application is required. Only list your email, not a phone number so that you get an application back before speaking to them.
  • Ask them in the posting to tell you about themselves, their household and what they are looking for in a new pet. When they email – if they don’t tell you those things – ask again.
  • Anticipate questions so you don’t have to talk to or email a bunch of people that aren’t going to work out. Tell them the following;  Litter box trained? Crate trained? Housetrained? Good w/kids? Good with cats? Good with dogs? Likes to be brushed? Used to baths? Include age of the pet and overall temperament. Loves belly rubs? Include it. Spayed/Neutered? Shots UTD? Include “Home Visit Required” to weed out people who may not be suitable.
  • Always request at least a small fee. There are dog fighters in our area. There are people who will pick up free pets and sell them for research. Do not give away pets for free in the posting. If you are not comfortable taking the money, have them make a donation to a local animal organization such as the Athens County Humane Society or Friends of the Shelter Dogs.
  • Ask for a vet reference and follow up with the vet reference. Double check that the name and number of the clinic actually exists with a quick google search. When calling let them know they were listed as a reference and could they take a moment to talk to you.
  • You can do a criminal check searching the municipal court records for a particular county. You can search by last name or driver’s license number. Domestic violence is strongly linked to animal abuse. These charges are often pleaded down to disorderly conduct; you must drill down into the docket to see what the original charge was.
  • Follow up adoption application with a phone interview to discuss the application. Let them talk – you will be surprised by what you may learn. Their last cat was mauled by their dog – but it won’t happen again. Their last 6 cats were hit on the road but they still plan to keep them outside… etc.
  • Ask where the pets will be kept during the day/during the night – you will be surprised by some of the answers you will be given.
  • Use photos – good photos will go a long way to finding your pet a home.
  • Be honest about the pet – if there are issues, list them so that your pet doesn’t end up being tossed around from home to home – or dumped at a shelter.
  • Often times you are re-homing a pet you have found – if the pet is not spayed or neutered – have the adoption fee cover this surgery to reduce the number of homeless pets. PLEASE spay/neuter prior to letting the pet go to a new home.
  • You may even have adopters pick the pet up from the vet at surgery time and just pay the fee at that time and take their new pet home.
  • Or sign them up for an ACHS Low Cost Appointment.
  • Friendly Paws sells wormer and flea meds for pets – be kind to them and treat them so they are comfortable and healthy.
  • Ask if cat adopters plan to declaw their cat. Declawing is very inhumane, more the 26 countries have banned the procedure. Read more at Paw Project.
  • Give new adopters the link to Introducing a New Cat to Your Household.
  • Use your networks – likely you have more people with less pets.

You can find wonderful adopters!! Just be smart about it.  Thank you for trying to help the pets in your area – it’s a group effort and every single life counts.