Susan Wallace
Submitted to The Union

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May 16, 2013
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When it’s time to rehome

What to do when you decide you should find another home for your pet? Keep in mind it is not always a bad idea to rehome your pet.

Don’t feel guilty if you find your self facing the necessity of doing this, but do it responsibly.

Illness and change in living circumstances often make rehoming a pet a necessity for you and your companion animal. Every situation is different and sometimes a new home is best for everyone. Or at times you may need help figuring out a temporary respite or help in some other way.

If you decide you should rehome your pet, the trick is to make the transition as painless for your animal as possible and do it as responsibly as you can. Never hide or refuse to disclose behavior or any other issues that will get a dog returned to a shelter or just dumped along a road somewhere.

(And yes, people who look normal do that every day, which is why we have such over crowding in our shelters).

If you love your animal and are finding a particular trait hard to deal with, just know that a stranger will be even less accepting of “bad” behavior in an animal they do not know and are not yet bonded with – especially if surprised by negative behavior not expected. This requires an honest assessment of the issues with your pet and sharing them and getting work on them while looking for the new home.

The good news is that as long as I have been doing rescue “work,” it is clear to me there is a home for every animal and one person’s poison is another’s preference. Not always, but more often than you would think.

First, honestly asses the issues with your animal and then work with a trainer who can help you transition the dog or cat to a new home and get the negative behavior under control.

A good trainer is as valuable to an animal’s well being as a good vet.

Scooters’ Pals has a list of trainers that we use and feel very happy to recommend because of our experience with them and the results we have seen. They help rescue animals for the animals’ sake and they may well help you with your dog or animals in need of a new home. They understand the importance of getting unruly behavior under control so that the dog or cat can live peacefully in its new surroundings (or with you, should your situation change once the behavior is remedied).

Go to our web page at www.scooterspals.org and under “Resources” you will find the names, email and phone numbers of trainers we are comfortable recommending. Some offer help to dogs needing rescue, so share with them your circumstances. They will advise you and tell you their fees and what they suggest for your particular need. Some do a first consult at no charge for rescue animals. Ask about this.

Most things seem hard and very challenging until we figure it out. Usually this takes help. Your companion animal deserves your help to find a good, safe home if you are no longer able to care for him or her.

Scooter’s Pals is willing to help you rehome your animals by posting your dog or cat on Petfinder.com, which can be accessed through our web site. We will list you as contact, and we will need one or two pictures and a brief description of your pet. We’ll also need your contact name, email or phone number, and how you want to be reached when applications come in. While you keep your pet safe, we will guide you in doing the due diligence of screening the applicants and making sure the new home is safe and suitable for your pet. If you wish, you can list the dog or cat on Petfinder.com yourself. I believe they do this for no charge. Petfinder posts only animals that are altered (spayed/neutered) and current on basic vaccinations.

Everything in life is hard until you figure it out. Your animal deserves to be transitioned to a home that will take good care of him and with your help, you can provide that good-fit.

I’ve seen people decide to keep their dog after they got the dog trained. Either way, the dog is safe and given a realistic chance at a happy, peaceful life in your home or a new one. Doing an unpleasant thing responsibly will never be regretted and your animal will greatly benefit from your thoughtfulness.

Call us at Scooter’s Pals if we can help. We don’t have a housing facility for animals and so we rely exclusively on foster homes (bless their hearts!), but we can help you with a posting on Petfinder.com and with outreach and finding a trainer.

Since we started, Scooter’s Pals has rescued more than 1,600 dogs off “death row” at high kill shelters and have rehomed hundreds of others animals needing a new home. We are an all-volunteer organization – if you can volunteer, foster, adopt, or donate, we are in great need of your help.

Susan Wallace is an attorney and the founder of Scooters Pals. Contact the organization online at www.scooterspals.org or by phone at 530-350-2099.


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The Union Updated May 16, 2013 07:30PM Published May 16, 2013 07:30PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.