Rehoming pets

It’s a devastating decision to have to give up a pet, but sometimes it’s necessary; life and circumstances have a way of keeping us on our toes. The pandemic is a perfect example; many people who had plenty of time and money for pets during the quarantine period of the Covid-19 pandemic now have little to none of either. Perhaps you’re moving abroad and lengthy quarantine mandates would be cruel to your companion, or you’re moving to an area that has breed-specific legislation in place and you cannot bring your pet with you. Some buildings and landlords just won’t allow pets. 

The list of why re-homing is necessary can be any number of reasons, perhaps it is due to the caregiver becoming ill or a death in the family, new family additions that may have allergies that cannot be resolved, changes in living circumstances, etc. Whatever the reason there is help available which could be the difference between surrendering your pet to a shelter or being able to keep your pet with a little assistance, like access to a local pet pantry for food.

Life demands that hard choices be made, and there’s so much more to parting with a beloved pet than simply giving it away. Please do your best to explore your social networks, online rehoming platforms (listed below), and reach out to local pet stores and rescues before you surrender your pet to a shelter.

Many folks assume that shelters are the easy answer, and surrendering your pet is an option, but it should be the very last option as many shelters are full and cannot or will not accept animals due to space constraints, bacterial or viral outbreaks, or other reasons. An estimated 6-8 million pets are surrendered nationwide each year, and only about half of them are adopted. Unfortunately, shelters also have to make hard choices in these instances, so if you do have to surrender your animal to a shelter, try to make sure it is a no-kill shelter with the resources to care for your pet until they can find a new forever home.

If you or someone you know is in the position where they need to re-home their pet, then here are some resources to help:

Alexandria Animal Welfare League – Rehoming a Pet

Lost, Found & Adoptable at The Woof 

Lucky Dog Owner Rehome Program

PB Proud ~ Bettering the Lives of Block-Headed Dogs and Their Humans in PG

Pets & People Together

Rehome by AdoptaPet

ReHome with Love

Rescue Well 

Our local shelters and the staff they employ do important work and they need our help. One of the ways you can directly impact helping keep animals in their homes is to support some of the local Pet Pantries which help the underserved in our community with pet food and supplies, which may be the line between them having to surrender their pet or keep their fur baby homes until brighter days.

Local Pet Pantries around the DMV:

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Pet Pantry

Humane Rescue Alliance Pet Pantry

LovePaws Pet Pantry

Maryland Pet Food Pantries by County

Pets DC