Before you give up your pet

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Please note:  The Regional Center does NOT have a veterinarian on staff and is unable to provide medical care for pets owned by the public.  If your pet is ill or injured, please visit your personal veterinarian.

 

If you are considering finding another home for your pet because you are having problems managing your pet's behavior, please read the advice about Managing Problem Behaviors.

Nearly all behavior problems are manageable given good advice! If you need further help, please send an e-mail to the Behaviorist at the Roanoke Valley SPCA, and someone will be in touch with you.

If you must find a new home for your own pet, please try the following:

  • NEWSPAPER:  Place a classified ad in the newspaper.  Give the animal's primary breed, age, sex, and a few words to describe its temperament.  In your classified ad, please DO NOT offer the pet “free to a good home” and please be sure that the animal has been spayed or neutered BEFORE you release it to a new home! Please DO NOT give away a pet that is NOT spayed or neutered! If you release an animal unaltered, there is a good chance you will be contributing to the homeless pet problem in our area. Any good you have done by finding a home for your pet will be undone if that pet goes out and creates more homeless pets.

When people call in response to your newspaper ad, ask questions to determine whether the home is a good match for your pet. For example:

  • What is the living situation? (apartment, subdivision, farm...)
  • Have they had pets in the past? (awareness of routine expenses, veterinary reference...)
  • Who is in the family? (young children, other pets...)
  • How will the pet be contained? (leash walking, fenced yard, invisible fence...)
  • What is the family's lifestyle? (inside and quiet, outside and active, frequent traveling, how long are they gone during the day...)

A responsible adopter will be glad to answer these and other questions. If the caller sounds like a good prospect, offer to visit the home with the pet. If you are satisfied that the home is well-suited for the pet, great! If not, take the pet home and continue to look for a better match.

  • FLYERS:  Create a nice flyer with your pet's picture. Post the flyer in pet supply stores and vet clinics. The most likely adopters are people who love and already have animals!
  • E-MAIL:  Take a digital picture of your pet and e-mail it to friends and coworkers for forwarding to their friends and coworkers, etc. Word of mouth works wonders!
  • WEB SITES:  Contact the Breed Rescue Group of your animal's primary breed.  Most will be glad to include your animal's picture on their web site and offer referrals if appropriate, if they are not able to take your pet directly into their rescue program. Some examples are: American Kennel Club, Net Pets, and Pet Guardian Angels of America.
  • ADOPTION CENTERS:  The following organizations may have space for your pet:
    • The Roanoke Valley SPCA.  You can contact the Roanoke Valley SPCA at 540.344.4840, or visit them online at www.rvspca.org.
    • League for Animal Protection.  You can contact the League for Animal Protection at 540.473.3853, or visit them online at www.petfinder.com/VA36.html.
    • Angels of Assisi. You can contact them at 540.344.8707, or visit them online at www.angelsofassisi.org.

Please remember the above organizations are "limited intake" facilities, with a limited amount of space, and that they do turn away animals when they are full.