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Sometimes, despite our best efforts and intentions, the decision to find another home for your pet ends up being the healthy and responsible choice. This decision is difficult to make in the first place, and often the thought of finding someone who could love and care for your pet the same way you do is even more overwhelming. 
If you are able to commit a few weeks to even a month or two to find that good fit for your pet we highly recommend re-homing your pet yourself versus surrendering your pet to a shelter or rescue. Shelters and rescues are often full with waiting lists and there are alternatives paths to adoption you can take with your pet first before making that surrender appt. 

Concerns some people have about doing this on thier own is that someone will end up neglecting or abusing your pet. Or even worse, that your pet will go to someone who will use them as a "bait dog" in dog fighting rings or some other gruesome outcome. The reality is, those scenarios are few and far between and there are lots of wonderful people and families that are looking for new pets to join their families who have the best intentions! Also you know your pet the best and can be the best advocate for them in helping match them with a new family. 
First - take some great photos of your pet! Try and capture their personality in the photos - are they cuddly? active? Enlist some help if needed, and have a squeaky toy on hand to get their attention!
Second - Write an honest but positive description of your pet. Most every pet has at least one behavior, health issue, or other challenge that is important to share with potential adopters, but try and shift from listing all the things they cant live with (ex: no children, no fences under 6 ft tall) to describing a home that would work from them. 
An example of that could be - "Spot enjoys the company of older children as sometimes he can get overexcited when there is a lot of active play and running" or "Ranger is very athletic and believes that most fences are there to hop over to check and see whats happening on the other side! Ranger could live in a home where he is indoors unless he is being walked on a leash or always supervised when he is in a secure, fenced in yard."
Third- Get this photo and description out there for adopters in your area to see! 
  • A good old fashioned flyer at local coffee shops, vet clinics, community spaces goes a long way. Share with your friends and ask them to share via social media, email, etc.
  • Post on or - both sites allow owners to post their pets for free directly to these pages. They determine a small adoption fee based on your pets age, health, etc. and when the  adoption is finalized the adoption fee paid by the adopter goes to the website as the "fee" for helping you advertise your pet. 
  • Reach out to your local shelter or rescue to ask if they will place your pets photo and description on their website as a Courtesy Listing- where instead of interested parties calling the shelter or rescue they call you directly if interested.
Fourth- Be prepared to respond to interested adopters in a timely fashion whether via email or phone. 
  • Feel free to ask them questions about their history of pet ownership or about their current pets! Examples could be:
  • What does a typical day look like in your home? 
  • Tell me about your current pet's personalities.
  • Where would "Buddy" stay at night? During the day? 
  • If "Buddy" had an issue when you first brought him home (ex. peed on the floor, howled when you left him alone) what would you do?
Fifth - Other things you can do to make sure that they are a good match and that the process goes smoothly.
  • Ask if you can bring your pet to their home for the first or second visit with your pet. You can help them introduce your pet to their pets and make sure the transition goes smoothly. This is a great way to have a "home visit" that is mutually beneficial without it seeming like you are coming over to inspect their home for problems. 
  • Encourage a trial period of a week or two for them to get to know your pet without the pressure of making a final decision immediately. Go ahead and plan for regular communication during that time as you are their best resource if your pet has any trouble settling in or they have questions. 
  • Ask for a reasonable rehoming fee. Somewhere from $25 to $50 is a good range, but also be flexible. If your pet is going to need costly monthly medications or the adopter is going to have to take them to get them UTD on vaccinations, etc right away then that shows financial commitment as well. 

For Madison County residents, Madison County Animal Services has a new Facebook Community Page for people to post their pets for rehoming:

For Buncombe County Residents a great resource to post your pets for rehoming: