Kalamazoo Animal Rescue

Finding a New Home for a Dog or Cat

Have you found a dog or cat or do you need to find a new home for one that you can no longer care for?Please take the time to read through this page to get some ideas as to the best way to find a good home for that deserving pet.

  1. Neuter the pet.The Kalamazoo County Humane Society offers low-cost spay/neuter service for anyone; regardless of income. Contact them at 269-345-1181.Vaccinate the pet, too. A neutered, vaccinated pet will be more appealing to a potential adoptive family than a pet that still needs basic vet care. By neutering the pet, you will not have to worry that he/she is contributing to pet overpopulation.

  2. Spread the word:

    • Vet Offices. You will find more good pet owners here than anywhere else! Talk to the staff. They often know of clients who have recently lost a pet and are looking for a new one. Leave a color photo and description of the pet and your phone number on the vet's bulletin board or at their desk.

    • Bulletin Boards. Post a color photo of the pet, a description, and your phone number on bulletin boards at pet stores, supermarkets, churches, schools, and other community bulletin boards. Date your notices and remove every one when the pet is placed.

    • Newspaper Classifieds. Place an ad in the Kalamazoo Gazette or another large newspaper in your area. It will get the most exposure if the ad runs over the weekend. Make sure to request an adoption fee for the pet's safety.

    • Weekly Papers.Try whatever weekly advertising publications are available in your area, such as the Penny Saver, Flashes and Shopper's Guide.The ads are generally less expensive than in newspapers which allows you to have a more detailed ad.

    • Adopt-A-Pet. This local organization sends out a list to 100+ businesses biweekly and you can have your pet listed for a small donation.Call 269-673-5942, weekdays or visit their site.

    • Online Postings. Most of these are free and offer you wide exposure. **USE CAUTION** with Internet postings and ask lots of questions of potential adopters. Also require a small adoption fee for the pet's safety.

  3. In the ad and/or on the flyer, give specifics and be descriptive.

    Good ads:
    Husky/Lab, neutered, shots, 2 years old.Handsome, affectionate companion.Great with kids and pets.Indoor/outdoor dog.Well behaved and smart.Must place due to impending move.To a loving, spacious home only.For details call 269-555-1212.

    Kitty needs a quiet home.9 month old spayed female, has shots.She is loving but somewhat shy, would do well with adults or older kids.Beautiful long-haired black & white.Indoor home only.Call 269-555-1212.

    Collie mix puppy.Neutered and shots.Very playful and energetic.Nearly housebroken.Won't be a big dog.Great with kids, not so great with cats.Cute pup! Call 269-555-1212.

    Bad ads:
    Shepherd mix dog, free to good home.269-555-1212.
    Cat needs home.Pregnant female. Call 269-555-1212.
    Free puppies.Lab mix, 12 weeks old.  269-555-1212.

  1. When screening callers, ask lots of questions.  If the person is reluctant to talk, they may not be a qualified adopter.  Some questions to ask:
    • What other pets are in the household?
    • If there are no pets, ask about the last pet the caller had.  What happened to it?
    • Does everyone in the family want a pet?
    • If the home is rented, does the landlord agree to a pet?
    • What is the caller looking for in a pet?

  2. Be honest when describing the pet.  If he/she is not good with kids or other pets, say so.  Same with housebreaking.  If the pet is not perfectly trained, let the caller know.  If you withhold information and the adopter is not prepared for what he's getting, you may end up with the pet coming back or it could just be thrown out.

  3. Take the pet to the potential adopter's home.  See for yourself where the pet will be living. You are responsible for this pet's welfare and a home visit gives assurance that you know where this pet is going to live.

  4. If you choose to turn your pet over to any type of "pet rescue" person or organization, be sure to see the place yourself.  Ask questions about their policies and methods.  It cannot be stressed enough that you should see these places yourself before turning a pet over to them.  

  5. Under most circumstances, don't let the pet go for free.  Certainly don't advertise "Free to good home."  If you are afraid they can't afford to pay anything, will they be able to provide food and proper vet care?  Donate the money to a group like Kalamazoo Animal Rescue and tell the adopter you are doing this if you are uncomfortable taking money.

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