SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

What to do if you need to rehome your pet?

Sometimes people find themselves in the unfortunate position of being unable to keep their pet. We realise that making the decision to rehome your pet is an extremely tough one and it may be for reasons out of your control.

The SPCA’s core purpose is to care for sick, injured, abused and vulnerable animals. We don’t usually accept owned animals into our care due to the need to use our resources dealing with emergency animal welfare issues. As a charity, we do not have sufficient resources to provide a re-homing service for owned animals.

To help us focus our time and resources on helping animals that need us the most, we need the help of pet owners to explore all options to find a new home for their pets. Below are some tips to help with that process.

Start early

We recommend you start the rehoming process as soon as possible once you have decided you can no longer keep your pet.

Take great photos and videos

Take some really great photographs of your pet showcasing their personality. Ideally you want to get several great shots showing your pet at their best. You can also take videos and upload them to YouTube.

Describe your pet’s personality

Start by writing a list of all the really great things about your pet and their personality. Do they like constant companionship? Do they sit with you and follow you around? Do they prefer to be outdoors exploring or hang out with your family inside? Think about their preferences – do they like people? What’s fun about your pet? Are they good with kids? Have they lived with other animals before? Are they more of a one-person quiet home or a busy household kind of pet? This list will help you to write a good description of your pet to help them find the right type of owner.

Find a temporary home

If you need to rehome your pet urgently and can’t find a permanent home yet, consider approaching friends, family, neighbours or co-workers to see if they could provide a temporary home for your pet whilst you find them a home.

Get the message out

Advertise your pet as widely as possible. There are lots of ways you can do this for free.

  • Create a simple flyer.
    Include a few great photos and the personality description. Include information about their age, sex and any special requirements. Include your contact details and how to enquire.
  • Email the flyer to all your friends, family and work colleagues.
    Ask for their help in finding a new home for your pet. They may know someone else who is looking for a pet. Ask them to send your email on to people they know.
  • Ask friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours.
    Maybe they’d like to adopt your pet?
  • Post your flyer or some great photos or videos, and a personality description on Facebook.
    Try other social media sites, too. Ask your friends to share your post and spread the word. You may need to post several times over a period of time so start as early as possible.
  • Advertise your pet online on key websites such as www.trademe.co.nz.
  • Distribute flyers on notice boards.
    Put your flyers up on local community, library notice boards, at work and ask local businesses and vets whether you can advertise your pet there.
  • Print flyers and distribute in your neighbourhood.
    Distribute these in mailboxes around your area.
  • Put a listing in your local newspaper.
  • If pure bred, check with the breeder or a Pure Bred Rescue club, they may be happy to take your pet.
  • If you run out of time, consider short term care at a boarding kennel or cattery.
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