If you’re struggling financially, annoyed by your pet's behavior, experiencing pet allergies or having trouble finding housing that welcomes your pets, our resources can help.
Pet-related problems can be frustrating, and you may feel that giving up your pet is the only solution. But before you take that step, check out the resources available to help pet owners resolve problems that may seem overwhelming. Best case scenario: You won’t have to part with your friend after all. But if you do, our tips can help you find your pet a loving new home.
Help is out there
Pet behavior issues? You may not have to give up your pet.
Many behavior problems can be caused by a treatable medical condition. For example, a house-trained pet may begin urinating in the house due to a urinary tract infection that a veterinarian can diagnose and easily treat.
If there's no physical cause for the problem, remember that many common pet behavioral issues have simple solutions. Check out our tips below, or consider consulting an animal behaviorist or trainer in your community. Your local animal shelters or rescue groups may offer low-cost veterinary care or training services or be able to refer you to other organizations that offer these services. Find your local shelters and rescues by visiting The Shelter Pet Project and entering your zip code.
- Need help with your cat’s behavior? Check out our resources for information on how to calm frightened cats, how to stop destructive scratching or chewing, how to solve litterbox issues, how to help pets get along with each other and more.
- Need help with your dog’s behavior? Check out our resources for information on how to prevent chewing or digging, how to house-train your dog, how to teach your dog to feel comfy in their crate, how to keep your dog from barking excessively or escaping your yard and more.
Housing problems? You may not have to give up your pet.
If you are having trouble finding animal-friendly housing, or experiencing other pet-related housing difficulties such as a nuisance complaint, check out our resources on keeping pets welcome in rental housing.
Pet allergies? You may not have to give up your pet.
See our resources on how you can have a happy, healthy life with your furry companions, even if you’re allergic to them.
Trouble affording your pet’s care? You may not have to give up your pet.
Anyone can experience an unexpected financial crisis. Don’t panic: Many national, state and local organizations provide assistance with pet food and other essentials, behavioral advice and training, and low-cost or free spay/neuter and other veterinary care.
Your local animal shelters or rescue groups can also be a great resource for free or low-cost pet assistance. Find your local shelters and rescues by visiting The Shelter Pet Project and entering your zip code.
New baby? You don’t have to give up your pet.
You can keep your growing family safe, happy and together. Read our simple tips for avoiding toxoplasmosis exposure during pregnancy and for preparing your pet for the new baby.
Check with your local experts.
Many local animal shelters and rescue groups offer a wide range of resources for struggling pet owners, including temporary foster care, help finding pet-friendly housing, assistance with veterinary expenses, free or low-cost training and more. Find your local shelters and rescues by visiting The Shelter Pet Project and entering your zip code.
Finding a new home
If you decide that rehoming your pet is the best option, keep in mind that despite the best efforts of shelters and rescues to care for their animals, your home is usually the best place for your pet while you search for an adopter.
By taking on the task of finding your pet a home, you can also reduce competition for limited space and resources in shelters or rescues. Here are some tips for placing your pet in a loving new home.
- Make your pet more attractive to potential adopters. Have your pet vaccinated and checked by a veterinarian. Making sure your pet is spayed or neutered may also make them more likely to be chosen by a new owner.
- Advertise through friends, neighbors and local veterinarians. Your personal network is the best pool of adopters for your pet. Ask your veterinarian if you can place a poster advertising your pet’s need for a new home. Place flyers promoting your pet at work, school, church and other public places you frequent. Include a good-quality photo and appealing description of your pet.
- Leverage your social network. Post your pet’s photo and story and ask your friends to share it on their social streams.
- Be transparent with potential adopters. Be prepared to share details about your pet's personality and how they get along with other pets and people. Share your pet’s favorite things and not-so-favorite things. And share any medical or behavior issues your pet is experiencing so that potential new owners will have the information they need to determine if your pet would be a good fit for their family.
- Get help from shelters and rescue groups. Some sheltering and rescue organizations may post your pet’s picture and profile on their website as a courtesy listing, while your pet stays in your home. Your local agencies may have other programs to help you rehome your pet.
As a last resort, you may be able to surrender your pet to a local shelter or rescue organization. Each agency may have a different process for surrendering a pet to their care; learn more by visiting their website or by calling ahead.