Give Up the GUILT of Rehoming Your Pet

            Have you ever been in a position of needing to rehome a pet? Then you know how difficult it can be to ensure that the pet goes to a safe, reliable and happy new home. If you have not been in this position before, do not think that someday you will not be. Life is constantly changing for all of us. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many circumstances that can bring on this challenging task- you may be forced to move and cannot take your pet with you, have issues with children and pets co-existing, or a family member passes leaving behind a pet. These events happen to many pets with humans being responsible to find them a new home. Simply putting up a rehoming post on social media or surrendering them at a shelter are very dangerous options.

Social Media and Shelters 

            The danger of rehoming a pet through social media is that we never truly know what kind of person is adopting a pet. Too often puppies and kittens are bought/adopted for cheap online for them to grow to full size and not be wanted anymore. They either end up abused, passed on to another individual who may or may not be soft hearted or end up in shelters. Even for full grown animals the question always lies “can I trust this new family with my beloved pet?” If you do choose to still use social media as a means of rehoming a pet stick with only letting a pet go to a family member or close friend who you trust. Do not be afraid to ask them for their vet’s information so you can call and get a positive recommendation confirming that they take well care of their previous pets. A family member or friend will not be offended by this if they have nothing to hide.

We all know the saying “adopt don’t shop.” This is a strong statement in shelters that often overfill with too many pets. Unfortunately, not all shelters can be non-kill shelters so many animals each year are put down due to overcrowding. Even non-kill shelters should be an absolute last option for rehoming a pet. Pets here stay in cages all day with only potty breaks for dogs. Cats typically live in a small confinement until they are adopted. Not all these pets can be taken out to social adoption events giving them less chances to be adopted than through a rescue.


Rescues are the reason why so many animals each year are saved from abuse, pet mills, and being put down at shelters. When looking to rehome a pet the best option to take is reaching out to rescues. If you are unsure of where to find recommended accredited rescues you can call your vet for referrals or go to or and search animal welfare groups. Good rescues are accredited for their social outreach adoptions, intense screening of applications, follow-up home meetings and their devotion to making sure each pet goes to a home that will fit their needs instead of just letting any applicant take home a dog or cat.Like shelters, many problems with rescues is the elevated level of pets for adoption. These pets go into foster homes, meaning that slots need to be open for more pets to be taken in. If you call a rescue and they tell you they do not have any openings to take in your pet, do not be discouraged or mad. Rescues sometimes have connections allowing them to send animals to other rescues if they are overloaded. Have a sheet of paper and pen ready when making this phone call. You will be shocked when finding out how fast you will get recommendations or referrals. There are many rescues that are breed specific, size specific or only for cat or dogs. All these rescues should be able to pass you on to another rescue if they are unable to help. If you do come to a dead end, then the rescue links provided can help. You may even need to look outside of your region or out of state.

Saying Goodbye

When you have found a rescue, family member or trusted friend to take in your pet and it is time to say goodbye this can be a very emotional time. If the pet is going to someone you know don’t feel as though you can’t ask for updates, pictures or get togethers. It will help being able to see that your old pet is happy, healthy and safe. If your dog or cat is going to a rescue you can reach out periodically to see if your pet has been adopted. Many rescues will not allow you to come see the dog or cat as this can affect the pet mentally and, in some cases, physically. Send them away with their favorite toys, cat tree, bowls and bed. For your pet this will help make their transition easier. It is also extremely important that you give all as much information about your pet as possible- let them know all the good and not-so-good qualities. Rescues will use this information when looking at a potential home. The best thing you can do for your pet is make sure that they are set up with the best opportunities to excel in a new home where they will be happy, safe, and loved.


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