Adopting Out Unwanted Pets
Often, puppies are given as Christmas gifts. Re-home an unwanted dog received as a gift while it's still young, and manage the process to do the very best you can for the animal.
Re-home an Unwanted Dog: Adopting Out a Pet after the Holidays
With a bit of effort, you can find the right home for an unwanted Christmas pet
Too often, puppies and dogs are given as Christmas gifts, especially to children. In many cases, the parents are not consulted before giving the gift, and few can refuse to allow their kids to accept that cuddly pup from Aunty Gladys on Christmas morning. The problems begin later, when it becomes clear the child is too young for the responsibility of taking care of a pet, or the puppy grows into a gangly, teenage, shoe-chewing monster. To re-home an unwanted dog, put it up for adoption immediately after the holidays, using a careful approach. Finding the right home takes time and effort, but you will be secure in knowing that you have done your duty as an animal lover.
Making the Decision
For some people, the decision to re-home an unwanted dog is an easy one to make. Perhaps you have already decided not to keep a pet, or are planning a move into a smaller home in the near future. For others, it may be difficult to persuade your youngster to give up his new playmate, especially if he has always wanted one. The deciding factor should be the best interests of the dog, so determine whether a family member is capable, reliable and interested enough to care for it for at least the next ten years. If the answer doesn’t come readily, let it go instead, especially if it is still young enough to be re-homed without causing undue stress.
Placing the Ad
Take an appealing photograph of the pet, preferably with a child or another pet in the photo to show its friendliness. Place a listing to re-home an unwanted dog in your local newspaper’s classifieds or online resources such as Craigslist. Set out detailed information, such as breed, age, gender, temperament and inoculation record. State a price that corresponds to the cost of buying a puppy of that breed, but is at least $100. You can always negotiate the price later, but fixing an amount upfront will prevent anyone that plans to use the puppy as bait for fighting dogs or to resell to a laboratory, as it will not be financially worthwhile for them. Email a copy of the advertisement and photo to your family members, work colleagues and friends, and ask them to spread the word among their contacts.
Choosing an Owner
Make a list of all prospective owners that contact you about the puppy. Ask them all questions to determine whether they have other pets, how many they have, how long have they had them, where do the animals sleep and who takes care of them, to get a mental picture of their home. Tell them how you plan to choose an owner and discard the names of any who disagree with your method to re-home an unwanted dog. Short-list three potential new homes and ask if you can visit them to meet the family and their other pets. Check out the condition of the animals and their sleeping quarters, find out who walks them and go with for a walk.
Select your first choice for a new home and take the puppy to visit the family, with the understanding and agreement that it is just a visit. Watch how the children treat the puppy and the way in which it interacts with other pets in the household. If you feel uncomfortable about the home, tell the people you still have other potential owners to check out before you can make a decision to re-home an unwanted dog. If you feel the home may be the right one, however, suggest that you leave the puppy overnight to see how well it fits in. Make contact the following day, and then decide based on their account of the visit whether to collect the puppy or leave it a little longer.
Finalize the Re-homing
Once you are completely satisfied that the home is the right one for your puppy, tell the new owners they may keep it and finalize the agreement. You might decide at this point to waive or lower the adoption fee, but you should never compromise about signing an official, written contract to re-home an unwanted dog. The contract should state the date of adoption, the details of the puppy, and the terms and conditions that you feel are important. You can also specify that should the new owners change their mind or be unable to continue to care for the animal for any reason, that they agree to giving you the first right of refusal to take the pet back, without charge. This might mean you have to go through the process to re-home an unwanted dog again a couple of years later; however, your conscience will be clear that you have done everything possible to ensure a good life for the dog, even if you are not able to keep it yourself.