Rehoming Your Own Dog

Things to do to Place your Dog in a New Home

(by Kyle Trumbull-Clark)

Who to contact first:

  1. Contact all of your family members and friends who know this dog and let them know you are looking for a good home for the dog.
  2. Put notices up at your work place with a photo of the dog and short description.
  3. Put notices up at your veterinarian's office, local pet supply and feed stores with a photo and short description.

Put ads in your local papers:

Run ads in your local papers and keep them running until the dog is placed. "Free" ads (meaning: you are asking no money for the dog) usually do not cost anything. A typical ad might read:

Your Breed of Dog, female, blue merle,
spayed, 1 year, loves kids and cats,
housebroken, needs loving new home.

Only include truthful information in your advertising. If your dog is not good with kids, you might say "Adult only home". If your dog is not housebroken, does not like cats or other dogs, do not say the dog is good with them - be honest!

Contact your local Rescue representative and give a complete description of the dog to them to use when we do hear from possible adopters. Help to find one in your area can be done by contacting the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs at (916) 483-3602 and requesting a “directory” of rescue breed contacts as well as mixed breed contacts.  You can also access the AKC web site at www.AKC.org  and under clubs search for rescue groups by breed and by area.

Photos:

Make sure the picture is very clear and sharp. The dog should "fill up" the photo. A small speck of what might be a dog running will not help find the dog a new home. Potential Adopters would like to see what the dog looks like close up. A happy, alert look on a dog's face will help place the dog faster.

Screening and talking to possible adopters:

Many people do not want to do this as they do not feel qualified to screen potential adopters for their dog - but who better to do this than the person who knows and loves your dog best? There are several "tricks" to doing this that rescue people use that you can use too when answering phone calls from your ads. Here they are:

  1. Never give out any information on the dog itself other than color, age and sex until you feel that this is a fairly decent home that may be considered for your dog.
  2. Never give out your address until you feel that this is the right home for the dog.
  3. There are 4 basic questions that need answering before you give out any information on your dog. The answers to these 4 questions will give you the basics about the possible home.
  • First Question: Have you ever owned this breed of dog before and what makes you want this breed of dog? If the possible adopter is unaware of the very high activity level of the normal this breed of dog (and many are not aware of this drawback), they need to be made aware of this immediately. This breed of dogs need more exercise than many busy people can give. If the possible adopter is unaware of the need for socialization and training that the typical of this breed of dog requires, they need to be made aware of this immediately also. Unsocialized and untrained this breed of dogs does not make good family members.
  • Second Question: Do you have a fenced yard (totally enclosed) and how high is the fence AND the gates? Too many of this breed of dogs end up in the shelters after escaping over a very low fence or from wandering around loose. Every county in southern California has a "leash law". This requires all dogs to be contained using a fenced yard or leash by their owners at all times. We recommend that all adopters have fences and gates which are a minimum of five feet tall.
  • Third Question: Where is the dog going to sleep at night? If your dog is used to being a housedog and sleeping by your bed or in the house at night, placing it in a home where it will be locked outside, away from the family, will only cause your dog to become very unhappy. Only place your dog in a home where it will have the same type of sleeping arrangements as it is accustomed to in your home.
  • Fourth Question: What happened to your last dog? The answer to this may have already come up, but if it hasn't - ask the question. Many people are more than happy to talk at length about their past dogs. Let them talk - at length. You will learn quite a bit about the home this way. If their last dog died due to lack of veterinary care or irresponsibility on the owner's part, you probably don't want to place your dog in that home. If the dog died due to old age or an understandable disease and they sought veterinary care, this is more likely a better type of home.