How to Rehome a Pet

This is not a pleasant Guide to write as no-one likes to think that a pet will be separated from an owner that the pet has come to love and trust. However, there are circumstances where, sadly, rehoming your pet is the only, and fairest, option.

Maybe you have split up with your partner and cannot take your pet with you due to accommodation problems. Or maybe you have become ill and no longer able to cope with the care of your pet.

Rescues are overflowing with animals and may not be able to take your pet for quite a while. To find a rescue local to you, ask at your vets as they may know of one; scour the internet; and use these links:

Even if the rescue cannot take your pet immediately, in lots of cases they can put you a waiting list.

However, if you do decide to rehome your pet yourself, it will also minimise the stress factor for the animal – going from a home to a rescue to another home is a bit harrowing for any animal, however big or small. By going from the security of your home straight to another should lessen the stress aspect.

You should be aware that it can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. You will need to be flexible in arranging times for people to come and meet your pet. If you are at work all day, you may find that, for a while, your evenings/weekends will be taken up with meeting potential new owners. However, everyone is perfectly capable of rehoming a pet and, after all, isn’t your pet worth it?

(Please note: if you originally got the animal/s from a Rescue (as opposed to a shop), under the terms of your Adoption Contract, you should be able to take them back to the relevant rescue. So contact the organisation. They will be sympathetic).

We always advise that in the cases of more than one pet, you don’t split them up as that will stress them out. It will be hard enough going to a new home, let alone one where their friend is absent, too.


Firstly, ask around friends and family. In a lot of cases, someone will know someone else who may be looking for a pet just like yours.

Secondly, try advertising on the various animal websites (you can search for them at the top of the home page or do a search in ‘Google’ or ‘Ask Jeeves’) . For example, if you have a rat you wish to rehome, visit: or

Your local free ads will also be a good medium to advertise, but always put a ‘cost’ for the animal/s in your ad. This will help weed out the people who just want a free animal (and, if applicable, a cage). If someone isn’t prepared to pay for an animal and it’s cage/hutch, what happens if the animal ever needs veterinary treatment?

Put up ads in your local vets and pet shops advertising the animal/s.

If you go to our ‘Needing Homes’ section at you can see that we also advertise for homes online. Please email us your name, contact details, type of animal, their age, sex, temperament, reason for rehoming and location and we’ll add your advertisement.

Vetting Applicants

If people do come along to meet your animal, don’t feel pressurised to rehome them if you don’t think their new home will be any good – we often turn away people we do not feel comfortable with!

If possible, arrange to take your pet to their potential new home. This will give you a chance to see your pet’s new environment and make a judgement whether they will feel happy. For example, a shy, little cat used to a quiet household will not fit in well into a noisy home with unruly children and barking dogs!

Look at how the rehomer talks to and handles your pet. Go with your gut instinct.

See if they ask all the right questions, such as diet, exercise, routine etc. Do not leave your pet there and then, give the potential rehomers a chance to ‘cool off’ – many people answer ads without thinking through the consequences.

If, after a week or so, it is still right for you and the new owners, then go ahead.

If you have been unsuccessful in rehoming a pet yourself, find a rescue local to you by clicking on the link: