Finding a new home for your pet

Cat enjoys lounging in it's bed

Sometimes, families find themselves in situations where caring for an animal is no longer a possibility. Choosing to re-home a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. Animal Humane Society is here to provide caring advice and resources for people who are searching for a new home for their companion animal. 

Increase its adoptability and spread the word

The following are some tips to try to re-home your pet before bringing it to a shelter:

  • Give yourself time to re-home your pet. It can often take weeks to months to find it the best home.
  • Increase your pet's adoptability by having it spayed or neutered and groomed. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • Spread the word to increase your chances of finding the right home for your pet. Ask your friends, family and co-workers to help. Social media can be a great place to share this information, in addition to neighborhood apps.

    You can also use the Adopt-A-Pet re-homing tool, which gives pet owners the ability to be more involved, and it's simple to use! Set up a pet profile, and interested people apply. Adopt-A-Pet has staff who review posts to prevent abuse such as breeder sales — making it a safer alternative to other online marketplaces, such as Craigslist. 
  • Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask questions to screen potential adopters. (Are there other pets in the house? Have you established a relationship with a veterinarian? Do you have a fenced in yard? How many hours a day will the animal be left alone?)
  • Share your expectations for your pet’s new home. If you wish to stay in touch with your pet's new family, make that clear up front. 
  • Never abandon your animal. Animal Humane Society is an open-admission organization and we will accept any animal for any reason.
  • For additional tips, please contact our Pet Helpline.

Contact breed-specific or foster-based rescue groups

Rescue groups that focus on caring for and helping families re-home a specific breed are available for almost any type of dog. Organized by people who have extensive knowledge of a specific breed, these groups provide a variety of opportunities for your pet, including the possibility of your pet staying in foster care until a new home is found.   

Review our list of animal welfare partners or visit

Surrender your animal to AHS

If you're unable to personally find a new home for your pet, you may bring your dog, cat, or critter to AHS. We are an open-admission animal welfare organization and will accept any animal for any reason. Review our surrender process.

Information provided by other organizations, including links to external websites, does not constitute endorsement by Animal Humane Society of the opinions, information, products or services of that organization.