Rehoming is fast becoming a common word in the animal rescue industry. Imagine being able to facilitate a safe transfer of an animal from one owner to the next, completely avoiding the animal shelter experience. But there are a few misconceptions about rehoming that you need to dispel in order to get the maximum benefit for your pet.
Misconception 1 – Rehoming is managed by your local animal shelter – The idea of rehoming is two people find one another and agree to transfer ownership of a pet. Nothing about this involves your local animal shelter unless you ask for their help. Most rehoming platforms are considered peer-to-peer meaning they work the same as Craigslist where you need to be cognizant of who you are dealing with. The benefit of adopting from a local animal shelter is that you know the animal has been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, probably microchipped, and likely behavior tested with other animals. You’ll have to trust the seller in a rehoming situation so make sure to ask for vet records and other documentation.
Misconception 2 – People rehoming their pets are terrible owners – We just wish this myth would go the way of the dodo because it’s so no true. There are many reasons that animals need to be rehomed just liked there are many reasons that animals end up in shelters. People’s living situation changes, their job or financial situations change and family members pass away without having a plan for the care of their animals. We should be applauding people for proactively trying to identify the best new home for their pet instead of scaring them away by making them feel ashamed for having to give up their loved one. Often this is one of the most difficult things that they have ever had to do.
Misconception 3 – They should pay me to rehome their animal; after all I’m doing them a favor – Some day in the future we’ll all have replicators like in Star Trek where we can get whatever we want for free but today, we need money to survive. Many people go into rehoming situations with the wrong mindset. They’re looking to profit from this transaction monetarily instead of recognizing the unique opportunity they have to impact many lives, both human and animals. How can you attach monetary value to the unconditional love and devotion your new pet will bring? How can you shirk the feel-good feeling that you’ll get knowing that you’re giving an animal a chance at a new life, and helping a fellow human at the same time? Whenever value exchanges hands people immediately think about money. But there is so much more to transferring life force than paper and coins.
Misconception 4 – Rehoming is back-alley dealing; reputable organizations don’t support it – You might be surprised to know that rehoming is a concept supported by the biggest names in animal welfare including Best Friends Animal Society, the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. Yes, it is a relatively new concept in the last few years and may not have hit the mainstream in the area of the country where you are, but it is something that is here today and something that is being endorsed and supported by the leaders in the industry.
The one thing NOT to do – When it comes to rehoming, the one thing you don’t want to do is rush the transaction. If the person you’re looking to adopt from is pushy, setting extremely rapid deadlines or just wanting to cut and run, beware. Rehoming involves making sure the new sentient being that you’re bringing into your household and family is a good fit for all of you. Take the time to make sure the animal is comfortable with you and is the right fit for your home and lifestyle. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation needing to rehome them again.