Surrendering a pet is never an easy decision to make. It's also not the kind of decision anyone would want to regret. That's why we recommend addressing the issue that is causing the need to give up the pet before making that decision. Is it because the pet is misbehaving? Often times pet behaviour training can correct problems that are otherwise considered uncorrectable. Is because of an allergy? Talk to a doctor, there are lots of medications that can treat pet allergies.
If you have come to the conclusion that there are no other solutions and you have made the decision to find a new home for your pet, there are several options to consider.
1. Communicate, Network, Get the Word Out
First, notify trusted friends, relatives, neighbours and co-workers that you need to find a new home for your pet. More often than not, this type of networking can have very positive results. Plus, you may even get to visit on occasion if you find your pet a new home within your social network.
2. Rehoming Your Pet
No one knows your pet better than you. As the pet's owner, you know its likes, dislikes, interests and temperament better than anyone else, and therefore you have a greater chance of finding a successful rehoming arrangement than anyone else. By making a determined effort to find your pet a new home, not only will you be giving it a better future, you'll also be creating a future for another animal by leaving a spot open at our shelter.
Ways to rehome your pet on your own:
- Ask local veterinarians if you can post signs in their clinics
- Ask local pet-related businesses if you can post signs in their stores
- Place an ad in the paper and Internet
3. Do’s and Don’ts
If you have to give up your pet, please do the right thing:
- DON’T drop your pet off in the veld or countryside, assuming that it can take care of itself. Pets lack the skills to survive on their own and may die of starvation or injury.
- DON’T abandon your pet in a house or apartment you are moving out of, thinking that someone will eventually find it. This doesn’t always happen.
- DON’T give your pet away to a stranger. You don’t know if that person is a responsible owner or even honest. Pets that end up in the wrong hands may be abused or used in dog fighting.
- DO try to place your pet with a trusted family member or friend, one who you are confident will love and care for your pet properly and will keep you informed of its welfare. Be sure the friend or relative understands the commitment of time and resources your pet requires and that they would like the pet because it will be a good fit for their home. Shelters receive many pets from people who knew the previous owners and wanted to help them by taking in a pet, but who did so without realizing the efforts involved in keeping the animal.
- DO call AWS(PE) if you have exhausted all other possibilities.
4. Surrendering Your Pet to AWS(PE)
- Please bring the following things with you:
- Pet (cats must be in a carrier; dogs must be leashed)
- Past veterinarian records
- Medications the pet is taking
- A “personality profile” about your pet. The information about its health, behaviour, habits, likes, and dislikes is really helpful to people considering your pet for adoption and helps us decide what kind of home would be best for it.
- Please be honest when answering these questions; let us know if your pet has a history of biting, refuses to use the litter box, has a serious or chronic medical condition, or any other problem. Your answers help to determine whether or not your animal should be put up for adoption. It is unfair to pass on severe behavioral or medical issues to another family.
- We cannot accept any dangerous animals. We will do our best to find your pet a new home. However, in every animal shelter, there is too little space and too many animals and your pet could be euthanized.
Please note that we ask for a voluntary donation to help cover the cost of your pet’s care during its stay with us. The average cost to care for and re-home a pet in our care is approximately R1,200 per month. Your voluntary donation when you surrender a pet helps to subsidise this cost. We request a voluntary donation of R300 to cover veterinary costs, vaccinations, dipping, deworming, shelter and food for your pet.