Owning a pet can be an extremely rewarding experience, however it does come with a great deal of responsibility.
Some pet owners find themselves in a position where they feel they need to give up a pet. This could be for a number of different reasons, but giving up an unwanted pet should always be a last resort.
Animals with behavioural problems
Pets can develop a range of behavioural problems which can be very distressing. Although you may consider giving up a pet when they are displaying signs of aggression, destructiveness or inappropriate toileting there are things that can be done to help.
Firstly it is important to get your pet checked by a vet to rule out any form of illness or injury that could be causing the behaviour problem. You should then seek the help of an expert clinical animal behaviourist.
Expensive veterinary treatment
Before you give up a pet because of expensive medical bills do some research. Some of our branches, where funds allow, may be able to help those in receipt of a low income state benefit. To find out if your local branch is able to help you, please visit in your area and select ‘veterinary financial aid’ under ‘service’. There may also be other charities that are able to help.
You may wish to consider taking out a pet insurance policy for a few pounds a month. This will cover unexpected vets’ bills in the future and safeguard your pet's health. We recommend pet insurance as essential for responsible pet ownership.
With our pet insurance policy you get great value insurance cover for your pet, and help for animals across England and Wales. Visit our pet insurance page for more information.
Giving up an unwanted pet the right way
We do appreciate that in some circumstances giving up a pet is the right thing to do. It can be a distressing time for both you and your pet so it needs to be done carefully.
Ensure that you give your unwanted pet the best chance of finding a happy home by contacting a charity that has experience matching each pet with the right owner.
Many of our branches now prioritise animals in need, those that are the victims of cruelty and neglect, so RSPCA may not be able to rehome your animal for you. However, there are other registered charities that can help.
Giving up an unwanted dog
There are many charities and other organisations that can help you to rehome an unwanted dog. Each organisation will have different procedures so please do your research before you give up an unwanted dog to them.
Below are just a few charities that may be able to take on an unwanted dog.
Giving up an unwanted cat
There are many charities and other organisations that can help you to rehome an unwanted cat. Each organisation will have different procedures so please do your research before you give up an unwanted cat to them.
Below are just a few charities that may be able to take on an unwanted cat.