Giving up a pet

When we bring an animal into our lives, it should be for the rest of that animal’s life. The decisions we make should always include the animal as a part of the family and our plans may need changing to fit the animal in.

That means seeking expert help if you can’t cope with your animal’s behaviour or using professional dog walking services. It means riding out the rough times to get to a better place.

Getting it right for your pet

Female mastiff cross and male pointer cross © RSPCA

But, sometimes life just throws you lemons.

Giving up a much-loved pet is a heartbreaking thing to do and it’s important for your pet’s future that you get it right.

The best thing to do is contact where you got the animal from. If you adopted your animal from the RSPCA then we’ll do our best to take the animal back. If we’re full, you may have to go on a waiting list until space is available or we’ll provide support and guidance to help you. You can help yourself by letting your family and friends know that your pet is looking for a new home. Rehoming to a friend, or a friend of a friend, gives you some reassurance that your animal will be cared for as you’ll know what that person is like.

Many reputable rehoming organisations often find themselves full. One innovative scheme is Blue Cross’ Home Direct, where the animal stays with you whilst the charity looks for a new home. You have the security of knowing that the animal is being rehomed in accordance with the charity’s rehoming procedures.

Advertising animals in free ads or online

Teenager on Facebook © RSPCA

There are dangers to advertising animals in free ads or online. Unscrupulous people will use such sites as they can’t get animals from a reputable source. As animal welfare professionals, we are naturally pessimistic about trying to rehome in this way – we deal with the horrors of when things go wrong.

If you decide to try to rehome your animal then make sure the person willing to take on your animal is suitable to look after your pet. If you use a website to advertise your animal, then meet any potential owner face to face and find out how they will care for your pet. The internet is useful in exchanging knowledge about animals and their needs but caring and responsible owners should not be selling or acquiring animals solely online.

Abigail Moon – rehoming operations manager

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