Re-homing a pet….when it comes to that….

Re-homing a Pet

By Dani Hemmat

It’s a hard reality to come to terms with when you realize that the pet you were so excited about isn’t working out for your family. Maybe you’re moving and it’s impossible to bring your pooch along, or you are ill-quipped to care for a special-needs dog.. Sometimes even the best intentions don’t work out and difficult decisions must be made. It will help the process, however, if you can make responsible decisions for the pet and its future family.

If your dog has behavior problems, please remember that you became responsible for training the dog when you adopted him. There are many local dog-training resources, such as Barkbusters and Lovable Pets, or you can visit www.cesarsway.com for an abundance of training tips to help you and your four-footed buddy live together in harmony.

However, if you’ve come to the conclusion that it just can’t work, or you’re moving to a place that you can’t have your dog or cat, then you’ve got to take the right steps.

Listing all your pet’s good and not-so-good attributes will help you decide what sort of home will be best. Once you’ve brainstormed for a bit, use the list to determine what sort of home would be ideal for Fido. No kids? Great with cats? Needs a fenced yard? Once you’ve narrowed down the must-haves, you’re ready for the next step.

Begin with your circle of friends, family and trusted associates, such as your veterinarian and pet sitter. Advertising with them is safer for your pet. Make sure your pet is groomed, current on vaccinations and neutered or spayed. Putting your pooch’s best foot forward helps her appeal to a prospective family.

Often, local animal rescue agencies can assist you in your search for a loving, safe home. The online petfinder.com has home-matching sites you can turn to, and plenty of resources and articles to read to help you in your search.

Once someone is interested in your critter, interview over the phone to weed out poor matches. If you’ve found someone who might work out, meet somewhere neutral and outdoors, like a park. Definitely never your home—Buster might be protective and display less-than-gentlemanly behavior. If the prospective owner has kids, it’s best they come, too.

If it goes well, set up a time to bring the pet to the prospect’s home. Remember, you’re still responsible for your pet’s welfare, so knowing what sort of home it is going to be in is part of the deal.

Once you’ve found a new home, make your goodbye a final one. It could be traumatic and confusing for the animal and extend your grief if you stop in to visit every once in awhile. Just rest assured knowing you did right by your friend, and be grateful for its new home.