Placing A Dog On Your Own
Is Your Dog Ready To Be Re-homed?
- Before attempting to place your dog, put together a portfolio.
- The dog should be spayed/neutered and have been seen by a vet. (See note below) List the vet's name and phone number in the portfolio.
- Assemble all the health information and put it in a folder for the new owners. If you have a purebred, include articles or books on that breed.
- Include the last date your dog received her heartworm prevention and the brand name.
- Write up a history including Date of Birth, AKC papers if applicable and what the dog eats, etc. for the new owners. The adoption will go more smoothly if the new owners know what to expect. Include this in the portfolio.
- Schedule a grooming session or bathe her yourself. Show her off to her best advantage!
- If your dog is aggressive or has a bite record, there are liability issues with regard to passing on those problems to someone else. If a bite occurs after the transfer, you still could be liable! If you're not willing to hire a trainer who specializes in aggression problems, take your dog to the veterinarian and have her humanely euthanized. This is a serious matter, and is the kindest thing for the dog. You wouldn't want her to have to endure a "bite hold" at a shelter - 10 days of solitary confinement that is terribly upsetting for the dog.
- Be truthful! Think about the kind of home that would be best for her. Ideally, your dog will spend the next 10 - 15 years with her new owners. Remember, placing her with the wrong people may ultimately result with your beautiful dog left at the shelter.
Advertising Your Dog
Investing in flyers and ads will payoff.
- AD Essentials: dog's description - breed/age/sex and the type of home you are looking for, as well as your phone number.
- If your dog is over 3 years, list her as an "adult". If under 18 months, state the age in months to emphasize her youth.
- If there are special requirements, it's best to state them in a positive way: as in "Kids over 10", instead of "No kids under 10".
- Consider listing "References Required". This prepares callers for the interview that you will require.
- Cost: Even if you are planning to give the dog away, never advertise "Free to a Good Home". You don't need to list a price at all. If you don't specify a price, then you can discourage unsuitable prospects by naming a price above their means. When the right adopters come along, you can set a reasonable fee to cover your ad expense, or give the dog away. A fee will discourage individuals who obtain free dogs to sell to research labs.
- Expect your search to take some time; possibly as long as 6 - 8 weeks. But don't expect people to know about your dog without some work on your part. Plan to advertise at your veterinarian's, groomer, the newspaper, and the local pet store bulletin board. Try your church and office newsletter too. In McLean County, there is an online lost/found/adoption listing at WJBC Pet Hotline Webpage.
- A picture says a thousand words. Prepare flyers with a photo of your pet and pertinent data.
Meeting The Adopters
Go to the home of prospective adopters and meet the entire household.
- You need to know that they are allowed to have pets (do they rent or own?) and that they actually live where they say they do.
- Do they have the space and physical accommodations necessary? A fenced yard is a big plus for some breeds but only you know if one is required.
- You should observe the condition of their other animals and ask who their veterinarian is. Annual veterinary care is important and they should know where they take their pets. You can call the vet and ask for a reference. The dogs should have tags on.
- You should ask what happened to their previous pets. (if they seem to get new animals frequently, but don't have any now, they probably won't keep your dog very long!)
- It is best to introduce the adopter's dog to yours on "neutral" territory, like a park. The resident dog will be more protective on his/her own turf.
Trust Your Instincts! You don't have to give your dog to anyone.
It is your responsibility to sterilize your dog before passing him/her on. If the dog is purebred, an intact animal will attract all the wrong sorts and possibly end up as a "puppymill' inmate, doomed to live its life out in a small cage. These dogs produce puppies for the pet store industry and live horrible lives, until they are spent and worthless to the "miller". If the dog is mixed, there is no reason to allow the animal to reproduce and numerous reasons to have the surgery done by the age of 6 months; before he/she can accidentally contribute to the overpopulation problem or go into "heat".