... some suggestions to help you:

-    Ensure your pet's health records are up-to-date.  If shots and an annual examination are due, take your pet to your vet for a check-up before starting your search.  Your pet should be spayed or neutered prior to adoption as it is always easier to get the pet a new home if all medical concerns have been taken care of.

 -    Ask your own vet if they know of anyone that would be a suitable new home.  Take a picture of your pet, make a cute poster with the picture and detailed description of your animal's personality.  Leave the poster at your own vet and other area vet clinics.  Talk to the staff at your local pet food store or animal groomers and leave a poster on their bulletin boards too.

-    Ask responsible friends or relatives if they are interested in adopting your animal.

-    Place an ad in your local community newspaper and give a description of your pet and his/her temperament;   ie "great with kids", "needs fenced yard", "adult home only", "good with other dogs/cats", etc.  

-    DO NOT OFFER YOUR PET FOR "FREE" - persons looking for animal subjects for experimental research have been known to acquire their subjects this way!!

-    A few minutes doing a proper "interview" with a caller can mean the difference between any home or the right home.  When someone calls, ask if they have had experience with animals before; ask for the name of their regular vet clinic for a reference check; ask about their lifestyle - kids/no kids; are they home a lot  or will the animal be alone all day and describe your pet's personality.  Try to match the home circumstances with the pet's needs so everyone will be happy with the move.

-    Invite a potentially good match to visit your home and meet your animal.  Ask the potential home for their phone number and address and visit them, if possible, to see where your animal would be living.  Don't agree to the adoption unless you are happy with the adopter and the new home.

-    Start looking right away when you know you have to find a new home!  Sometimes it takes months to find the right new home - don't leave it to the last week before you have to give your animal up to start the search!


Some tips to consider:

Here are some questions to ask prospective adopters:

 1.         DO NOT ADOPT TO JUST ANYONE WHO CALLS !  Doing your homework at the beginning and taking time to make sure this is the RIGHT home for your pet might save you guilt and grief later.  When someone calls and asks if your cat/dog is still up for adoption, start off your side of the conversation by saying – “We’ve had a few calls about Fluffy/Rover and we’re still taking applications.  We want to make sure we have the right match for everyone concerned and our animal.  Would you like to tell us a little about your home and we can see if this would be a good match ?”  Then write everything down about that potential home for evaluation later. Don't say "yes" without checking out the answers to your questions.  This may take a few days.  If someone is serious about your animal, they won't mind waiting while you do reference checks and a home visit prior to your agreeing to the adoption !  Compare various applications to see which home your animal would be happiest in – what matches his or her needs best.  In other words, if you have a shy cat – don’t put it in a home with young children, it will be scared and hiding all the time.  Or don’t put your cat in a home with a dog if your cat hates the sight of a dog. 

2.         If the first question from the potential adopter is “how much are you asking for your cat/dog?” then money is probably a big issue with them.  There are many costs associated with being a pet owner and you are looking for someone who will be able to provide good veterinary care (sometimes emergency care), be able to afford a good quality food and maybe a pet sitter when they go away on holidays.  Pets are expensive and you want the best for your animal.


a)         have they had cats/dogs before and what happened to them ?

b)         was their previous animal neutered/spayed and did it have regular vet care ?

c)         what is the name of their veterinarian ?  (Ask if you can do a reference check with their vet.)  Responsible people don’t mind if you want to check with their vet.  Most animal rescue organizations do vet reference checks all the time and you should too if you are thinking of adopting your animal to a new person.

d)         if it is a kitten or puppy, do they plan to spay or neuter the animal when it is 6 months old?

e)         do they live on a busy street; is their yard fenced to prevent dogs coming in or getting out of the yard?  If there is no fenced yard and you are adopting out your puppy/dog, will they put the dog on a chain or rope to keep it in the yard ?   If they answer "yes" - DO NOT ADOPT TO THEM !

f)          is someone home a lot or will the cat/kitten/dog be alone all the time ?  If the potential adopter works away from home all day, who will take the puppy/dog outside for a pee during the day or will they expect the puppy/dog to wait until they get home.  What about exercise during the day ?  A bored dog can be a destructive dog. 

g)         can they devote time to grooming the cat/kitten/dog every few days ?

h)         will they declaw the kitten/cat ?   (this should NEVER be done !) - suggestions for re- training a kitten/cat for inappropriate scratching of furniture found on our web-site web site under "Alternatives to De-clawing"

i)          will they use a flea control such as “Advantage” or “Program” which can be purchased through their veterinarian ? (Do not use flea collars as they may contain chemicals that irritate the neck and can make the cat sick over time). Remember, fleas can carry tapeworm and be passed to your cat or dog so good flea control is necessary.

j)          if possible, go visit the future home of your animal to see that it is clean and meet the prospective adopters.  Responsible people don't mind a home visit beforehand.

If the prospective adopter does not plan to neuter or spay the kitten or cat and you let the person adopt the kitten/cat, then YOU will be contributing to the problem of overpopulation of homeless cats and kittens. Only good, responsible homes are wanted for your cat, kitten or dog !  If you have any hesitancy about the prospective adopter and future home environment for the cat/kitten/dog, DO NOT AGREE to the adoption or permit the person to take your animal.  Wait for the RIGHT home – not just ANY home – the rest of your animal’s life depends on your choice !