Alternatives To Bringing Your Pet to the Shelter
Sometimes, families or individuals find themselves in situations where caring for an animal is no longer a possibility. Choosing to re-home a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. At the Lee County Humane Society, we know it is never an easy choice and we are here to provide caring advice and resources for people who are searching for a new home for their companion animal. We want to work with you to the best of our ability to ensure your pet has the best chance possible of finding a forever home, and while we love all the animals in our care, we want leaving your pet at our shelter to be an absolute last resort. Shelter life is stressful for animals, and even this time of year we’re running out of space in our shelter especially for larger dogs. Too often people don’t realize that there are lots of other options to exercise before leaving your pet at our shelter.
The following are some tips to try to re-home your pet before bringing it to a shelter:
Give yourself time to re-home your pet. It can often take weeks to months to find it the best home. If you can’t keep your pet with you during this time, please consider reaching out to friends or family to see if they could foster your pet until it is re-homed.
Increase your pet's adoptability by having it spayed or neutered and groomed. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations.
Spread the word to increase your chances of finding the right home for your pet. Ask your friends, family and co-workers to help. Social media can be a great place to share this information, in addition to neighborhood apps. Animal Safe Passage Georgia Rehoming Page on Facebook is a great way to help get the word out and find potential adopters in our area (yes they accept animals from East Alabama as well).
You can also use the Adopt-A-Pet re-homing tool at AdoptAPet.com, which gives pet owners the ability to help find a new home for their pet, and it's simple to use! The current owner sets up a pet profile, Adopt-a-pet advertises the available animals, and interested people apply. Adopt-A-Pet has staff who review posts to prevent abuse such as breeder sales — making it a safer alternative to other online marketplaces, such as Craigslist.
Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask questions to screen potential adopters. (Are there other pets in the house? Have you established a relationship with a veterinarian? Do you have a fenced in yard? How many hours a day will the animal be left alone?)
Share your expectations for your pet’s new home.
Contact breed-specific or foster-based rescue groups
Rescue groups that focus on caring for and helping families re-home a specific breed are available for almost any type of dog. Organized by people who have extensive knowledge of a specific breed, these groups provide a variety of opportunities for your pet, including the possibility of your pet staying in foster care until a new home is found. Most of these groups are just a quick online search away.
Release your pet, but foster
One final way you can help make sure your pet has their best shot at finding their forever home is to release your pet to Lee County Humane Society, but then agree to foster your pet until it is adopted. You’ll need to sign ownership of your pet over to LCHS, and provide all documentation you would need for an owner surrender of an animal, but then your pet goes back home with you as a foster animal until a new owner is found. This allows LCHS to make your pet available in our system, lets us feature them on our website, and social media; but also keeps kennel space open for stray animals who we have to hold for a minimum of seven days.
Above all, never abandon your animal. It is illegal, its unsafe for your animal, and it drastically reduces their chances of going on to live a full life with another family.
For more information, please visit our website at leecountyhumane.org
Weekly Wish: We are still in need of slow feeders for dogs. These mazelike feeding bowls help our canine friends slow down when they eat, and can be found at local pet stores or on our Amazon wish list.