Rehoming Your Pet

The Humane Society of Kodiak understands that giving up your pet is a difficult & emotional decision. If rehoming your pet is your only option, we want to assist you with this process in the hopes that the transition is as seamless as possible. The guidelines below can increase your pet’s chance of quickly finding a new home without having to go to a shelter.

Girl with Dogs

Before Rehoming

Help set your pet up for success from the start! Take a trip to the vet before finding a new home for your pet, you can reassure those interested that they do not need medical attention and is healthy. Spay or neuter your pet and make sure they are current on vaccines. Make sure you have an updated copy of their veterinary records; this will be an added bonus for the new owner. If you need assistance with the cost of spaying or neutering your pet, contact us and see if there is assistance available.

Take good quality color photos. Highlight the lovable things your pet does and the activities they enjoy. A mid‐action shot of them jumping into water is a great way to showcase their love for swimming. A photo of your cat with their favorite toy will help those that may be interested see their fun-loving personality. Even a photo of your dog walking nicely on leash or just hanging out on the couch can help you find the right match.

Write a detailed bio. Try to go into detail about your pet’s personality and why anyone would be lucky to have them as a part of their family. Point out your favorite qualities, make sure to outline their likes & dislikes, desirable traits and tricks, and any extras that animal lovers would look for (dog park dog, lives peacefully with cats, great with babies, may be best as only pet in the home, etc.). Explain why you need to find your pet a new home and what kind of environment they will need to make the transition flawless.

Get the word out. In Kodiak one of your greatest assets to help spread the word about re-homing your pet is social media; Facebook. We are fortunate to have several local groups where you can post your pet; Pets of Kodiak, Kodiak Island Dogs, Kodiak Island Pets, etc. Post fliers with your pet’s information and photos throughout the community to attract potential adopters. See if you can post a flier at Safeway, KVC pet store & clinic, Sutliffs, SBS, animal shelter, and groomers. As well as Harborside, Fly-By and Java Flats. You could try placing an ad in the Kodiak Daily Mirror too.

Finding the right match

Have those that are interested fill out a questionnaire. If you are having trouble creating your own, contact us and we can give you one of ours that you can reference to for questions you should ask. Or you can use the following questions:

  • What attracted you to my pet?

  • What are you & your family looking for in a companion?

  • Are there any deal breakers that would make you consider not adopting? (Make sure you are upfront & honest if your pet may do something that’s a deal breaker for someone else!)

  • What is your plan to introduce the pet to your home?

  • Where will they spend their time during the day?

  • Where will they sleep at night?  

  • What is your experience with animals and/or this particular breed?

  • Do you currently have any pets? If so, what is your plan for introduction in the home?

  • If for some reason in the future you had to give the pet up, what would your plan be to find them a new home? (If you’d rather have adopters contact you before rehoming, make sure to let them know)

Unless a relative or close friend is adopting the animal, charge a re-homing fee or you can ask them to make a donation to the animal shelter instead of paying the re-homing fee.

Set up a meet & greet in your home only if you feel comfortable, otherwise choose a calm neutral environment for them to meet your pet. Ensure that the environment will not cause additional stress to your pet, and secure enough so that they will not escape. You can always reach out to the animal shelter to assist with the meeting.

For dogs, meet somewhere your dog loves like your backyard, dog park, beach, Ft. Abercrombie, or go on a walk around the neighborhood. Watch to see how your dog acts with the new person. Make sure everyone that will be living with the dog is at the meet & greet so you can ensure it will be a good fit for everyone. If the potential adopters have another dog(s), it would be a good idea to do a pet meet & greet as well. For tips on how to successfully introduce dogs, feel free to contact the animal shelter at 907-486-8077.

Check references. Ask to contact the potential adopter’s veterinarian, landlord and neighbors. This is a great way to ensure your pet will be safe. Asking for references is a great way to help choose your pet’s new owner. You may also call the animal shelter for reference, as they may know the person/family who is interested in adopting your pet. 

Once you have found a match

 Send the pet to their new home with familiar items.

  • Blankets and toys with familiar scents can help ease the transition.

  • Look for an appeasing pheromone (ADAPTIL or FELIWAY) that helps relieve anxiety. KVC & the pet store carry these or you can purchase from Amazon.

  • Any medications your pet is on. Along with instructions on how to administer the medication(s).

  • Check in with the adopter. Ask the adopter if you can call to check in after a few weeks. That way, you can rest assured the pet is adjusting well. Plus, if there are any issues you can possibly help assist or give tips on how to solve them.

What not to do

  • Do not just turn your pet loose and expect them to fend for themselves. There are many dangers facing a pet if abandoned. It is also a crime to abandon an animal. City of Kodiak: Cruelty to animals 7.04.010(c)  Kodiak Island Borough: Cruelty to animals 6.04.020(c)

  • Do not re-home your pet without disclosing any medical or behavioral issue they may have. Adopters will want to prepare for such financial responsibilities.

  • Do not re-home your pet to just anyone who is interested, especially if you do not know them. Your pet deserves nothing less than the best home & family for their needs. And they depend on you to be their voice and look out for their well-being.