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Giving up an unwanted pet

Owning pets can be extremely rewarding, however it comes with much responsibility.

Some owners find themselves in a position where they feel they need to give up a pet. This could be for numerous reasons, but giving them up should always be a last resort.

Animals with behavioural problems

Collie displaying destructive behaviour by chewing on a red shoe © IStock Photo / Darinburt

Pets can develop behavioural problems which can be distressing. You might consider giving them up when they’re displaying signs of aggression, destructiveness, or inappropriate toileting but there are things that can be done to help.

Get them checked by a vet to rule out illness or injury as a root cause, then consult an expert clinical animal behaviourist.

Expensive veterinary treatment

Before giving up pets because of expensive medical bills do some research. Some of our branches, where funds allow, may be able to help those receiving low-income state benefits. Find out if you could be eligible for financial assistance. Other charities can also help.

Consider pet insurance which covers future unexpected vets’ bills, safeguarding their health. We recommend pet insurance as essential for responsible pet ownership.

Giving up an unwanted pet correctly

Sometimes giving up a pet is the right thing to do, but it can be distressing for you and them, so must be done carefully. Our rehoming operations manager offers some great advice in her blog post.

Give your unwanted pet the best chance of finding a happy home - contact a charity experienced in matching each pet with the right owner.

Many of our branches prioritise animals in need, so may not be able to rehome your animal. However, other charities are often able to help.

Giving up an unwanted dog

Many organisations can help rehome an unwanted dog. All have different procedures; research carefully before giving them an unwanted dog.

Below are some charities that may help:

Giving up an unwanted cat

Many organisations can help rehome unwanted cats. All have different procedures; research carefully before giving them an unwanted cat.

Below are some charities that may help:



One abandoned every hour

During the summer months our inspectors are called out to rescue one abandoned animal every hour.

Rose was saved from drowning after being abandoned © RSPCA

Many abandoned animals that are rescued are very badly neglected, so need urgent veterinary care and often hospital treatment.

We urgently need your help to help our hospitals save lives.

Please help us reach our target of £780,000 so we can continue to save animals' lives this summer. Help us give urgent care to abandoned animals.