So you want to find a new home for your pet?
First, let's look at some ways you may be able to keep your companion animal. We hope that when you bring an animal into your life you have made a commitment for the life of the pet. You wouldn't want to 'get rid' of your child if they had a behavior problem, you needed to move or had a new child. Your pet feels fear and sorrow when given away. It is your responsibility to find a kind, loving, forever home if you can not keep your pet. While we encourage you to keep your pet if at all possible, we want to help you find a quality new home if needed, or help you find a place for a stray pet that has arrived.
Some people take pets and leave them in rural neighborhoods thinking that the pet will be able to take care of itself and will live wild and free. Some people think that someone else will take in their pet giving it a new home. Cats and dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years and are not equipped to fend for themselves. They become food for coyotes, large dogs, raccoons, hawks, owls and humans. They may wander for weeks as they slowly starve to death. NEVER DO THIS.
Here are some of the reasons people give up their companion animals and some alternative solutions:
Bad behaviors do make the pet difficult to live with, but don't give up! Find a solution; make changes in your home or lifestyle. Spending a little extra time with the pet in the immediate future will help modify or eliminate the problem behavior and can save your pet's life.
- Is your pet spayed or neutered? Often altering your pet will eliminate the behavior. We can help. We offer deeply discounted or free services depending on your financial needs. Call or go to our spay/neuter clinic, located at 4050 S White Mountain Road, Show Low, 928-532-1602, 10-4 MondayFriday, to make an appointment to alter your pet.
- Use the library and the internet to research information on behavior problems and ideas on solving them. (Check our website's behavior information.)
- Check with your veterinarian to see if there might be a medical reason for your pet's behavior. Many times pets that eliminate inappropriately (don't use the litter box, etc.) have a medical condition which can be treated and will stop the problem. Your vet may also know of some behavior resources.
- Contact a trainer or behaviorist. Click here to see a list of Trainers and Behaviorists.
- Arizona Humane Society at 602-997-7585 an Arizona Animal Welfare League at 602-273-6852 run free telephone behavior help lines. You can also get information on their websites at www.AZHumane.org and www.AAWL.org
- Try taking a behavior class or individual classes. Click here for a list of local classes.
- Ask friends who have pets if they have had similar experiences and for their help in solving this situation. Brainstorm with friends and relatives. Did something change in your household that may have upset the pet and be causing this problem?
Sometimes people have financial setbacks and feel that can't adequately care for their pet. There are resources available if you find yourself in this position.
- Local food banks do have donated pet food.
- Humane Society of the White Mountains has a food assistance program. 928-368-5295.
- Some private shelters or rescue groups have food they are willing to share. Use the library/internet to find organizations in and around the area that may assist you.
- If your pets needs to be spayed or neutered we can help. Is your pet spayed or neutered? Often altering your pet will eliminate the behavior. We can help. We offer deeply discounted or free services depending on your financial needs. Call or go to our spay/neuter clinic, located at 4050 S White Mountain Road, Show Low, 928-532-1602,10-4 Monday-Friday, to make an appointment to alter your pet.
- Humane Society of the White Mountains has monthly discount clinics for routine vaccinations and micro-chipping. Contact them at 928-368-5295 for more information on prices and dates.
- Local Animal Control agencies offer annual discounted rabies clinics. Contact Show Low Police Department and/or Snowflake/Taylor Police Department for information on their clinics.
Sources of possible financial assistance:
is a website which allows individuals to set up a webpage for fund raising. You do not have to be a non-profit. They charge a fee, a percentage of all donations received, but it is a possible source of funds if you or a friend have internet access.
Imom offers assistance for medical reasons. Their website lists how you can qualify.
This organization offers financial assistance to pet owners who have HIV/AIDS or other disabling illnesses.
Financial assistance for individuals with income below $20,000 or a family income below $40,000.
This organization will help owners of Pit Bulls.
This organization will help owners of Westies.
Helps with assistance for Labradors only. As of 11/06 applications temporarily suspended.
This organization has a 'grant' program for medical aid to corgis. Grants are given to rescues typically but it's worth a try if you have a corgi or corgi mix.
Helps special needs and senior Dobermans for people and rescue organizations.
Financial aid for cat owners.
Financial assistance for urgent veterinary care needs, things beyond the routine.
A line of credit to pay for pet care. If you are not on line applications can be obtained at our local veterinary offices. This money has to be repaid, but allows time to pay it in installments.
If you're temporarily without housing and are faced with giving up your companion animal due to this, consider the following.
- Foster care. Do you have a friend, relative or former neighbor who can take your pet while your are resolving your housing problem? Is there someone at church who might be able to help? Can you pay anything toward the maintenance of your pet while you seek a new home for yourself? If so, contact local boarding facilities and check to see if they might offer a discount or payment plan. Click here for a list of boarding facilities and pet sitters.
- If you are a victim of abuse, natural disaster, are a member of the military being transferred overseas, Arizona Humane Society 602-997-7585 or www.azhumane.org, and Best Friends Animal Society 435-644-2001 or www.bestfriends.org (e-mail is the quickest way to get help from Best Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org) have programs that may be able to board your companion animal free for a limited time based on your situation.
Resources for Finding a New Home
If you still feel you cannot keep your pet then it is your responsibility to find a safe and loving new home. If you have a stray that you cannot keep, please accept the same responsibility.
- If you purchased the pet from a breeder, give them a call, they may take the animal back.
- If you adopted from a shelter, check your contract, it may require that you contact them before finding a new home for your pet. They may accept your pet back into the shelter or have suggestions for placing your pet.
- Purebred rescue. If your animal is purebred, there are rescue groups for almost every breed. Check with our local Kennel Club, Arizona White Mountain Kennel Club, www.awmkc.homestead.com , PO Box 3768, Show Low, AZ 85902; or www.akc.org/breeds/rescue.cfm . For cats, www.fanciers.com has a listing of cat breed rescue groups. In Arizona, contact www.cabra.org. Go to www.petfinder.org. Search for breed that matches your pet and contact all the rescue groups and shelters that come up asking if they will accept your pet or can refer you to another rescue or shelter.
- Petfinder.com will allow you to post an adoptable pet ad at no cost. Write a description of your pet, state how your pet gets along with other animals (dogs good with cats or not), age, any medical information (spayed, vaccinated, etc.) and be truthful about why you are giving up the animal. An adopter must make an informed decision about how your pet will fit into their home and lifestyle. Misrepresenting your pet may result in the animal being given up yet again.
- Do not place an ad 'free to good home'. Adoption fees should be set at a reasonable amount meant to discourage people from selling pets to research labs (called bunchers) or collecting and hoarding large numbers of animals.
- Post flyers. Feed stores, veterinary clinics, grocery stores, pet groomers, community centers, grocery stores, etc.
- Word of mouth. Let your friends, relatives, co-workers, people you meet at Church, that you need to find a home for your pet.
When someone contacts you about adopting take the time to interview and determine the suitability of the offered home. Please, don't skip this step. It is your responsibility to do your best to find your pet a loving forever home.
- Does the potential adopter own their home or rent? If they rent, you will want to call the owner/manager to find out if they allow pets and if there are any size restrictions which might apply to your companion animal. Is there a deposit? Can the adopter afford this?
- Do they have a pet now or have they had a pet in the past? What happened to those pets? Do they have a veterinarian? Call the vet and ask if they have a record of taking good care of their pets. Can the adopter afford to feed good quality food and to get vaccines and other medical maintenance for their pets?
- Ask to see their home to determine if it is adequate to meet your animal's needs. Will the fence keep a dog confined? Things of that nature.
- Do they know that a dog who is well cared for can live 10-15 years and a cat as long as 20 years. Are they prepared for a long-term commitment?
- Will the animal be kept inside or outside? Inside pets have longer healthier lives and a better quality of life. Pets desire the company of humans, as we desire their company.
- Be truthful about any bad habits or special needs your pet may have. If you mislead the adoper he or she may just give up the animal or bring it back to you.
- Do they have children? Does your pet like children? Are the children well behaved around pets? If you have a all adult household, placing your pet in a large family of active children may be too much of a change and result in bad behavior because your pet is frightened.
- Do they have other pets? Do those pets get along with other animals? Does your pet get along with other animals? If you can set up a meeting for your pet and their pet at a safe location, other than the new home or old home, so neither pet feels like protecting their 'home', you will get a better idea if the pets will get along. Check our behavior section of this website for "Introducing your pet to a new pet" for tips on helping pets adjust to each other.
- Ask if you can make a follow up visit after the adoption, or at a minimum make one to two follow-up calls to make sure the pet is doing ok.
Shelters - the Last Option
If you take your pet to a shelter it may be euthanized. Some shelters charge relinquishment fees to cover the cost of medical care and housing for the pets that are turned in to their facility. Fees vary but can be as much as $50. This fee does not guarantee the pet will not be euthanized.
There are 'no kill' shelters, and Pet Allies is one of them, however, we are always at capacity and chances of getting your animal accepted are small. If your pet is elderly, sick, or has such severe behavior problems that it is un-adoptable, euthanasia with a loved family member may be the more humane solution.
How does Pet Allies decide which cat or dog will be accepted into foster care? There is a committee of dedicated people at Pet Allies who work together to make those decisions based on several factors. Most important, is there space in foster care for the type of pet needing a new home? Secondly, why is the pet being relinquished? Does the owner want a guilt-free way to 'get rid' of a problem dog or cat? Do the guardians need to be educated on the importance of a commitment to their companion animal? If we were to enable the person by making the problem go away, he or she would not understand the consequences of abandoning responsibility and more than likely would again impulsively bring home a pet and repeat the process. If someone can truly no longer care for their pet, they should act responsibly and find a safe, dependable, loving home for their animal.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information and for caring about your companion animal.
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