By Lauren Green, Communications and Digital Media Specialist
As you may have heard, the Washington Humane Society is in a state of disaster with far more animals coming into our facilities than being adopted. In July alone, WHS took in 526 cats, 326 dogs, and 22 other domestic animals. At the same time, only 241 adoptions occurred – just 27% of the total intake. WHS currently has over 250 animals who need homes now.
We are encouraging adoptions by lowering adoption fees as part of our “It’s Raining Cats & Dogs” promotion - $25 cat adoption fees and $50 dog adoption fees, August 8-16, 2013.*
While WHS is an open-access shelter – meaning we will take in any animal at any time, regardless of age, breed or condition – we need the community to do their part to keep our adoption centers from becoming as overcrowded as they are now. That means trying to find a solution to your pet’s problem or rehoming your pet independently before bringing him into an overcrowded shelter.
If you’re considering surrendering your pet, here are five things you should know:
1. Is it a behavior issue?
If you’re dealing with a pet behavior issue, we know it can get very frustrating. Our behavior and training counselors are here to help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and make a strong effort to work with your pet before surrenduring him.
2. Does your home have pet restrictions?
If you have a dog over 35 pounds and are experiencing difficulties keeping a pet due to landlord restrictions, please reach out to our new Pets at Home Manager Alicia Guidi at 202-207-7253 or email@example.com. We may be able to provide free resources.
Also check out www.fosteradcpet.com – DC people helping DC pets.
3. Be your own marketing manager!
Using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can help you spread the news to a wide audience of your friends and family who may be able to help you out. Don’t forget good old fashioned canvassing at your local veterinarians, pet supply stores and coffee shops.
4. Want the best for your pet.
Your pet is going to miss you an awful lot, so help him out by trying to find him a great new home. That means a forever home where he will get love, attention and proper care and nutrition, and will be a part of the family. Check in with the new family after a couple weeks to make sure everything’s going well and if feasible, continue to be a part of your pet’s life.
5. Rehoming Checklist—if you can’t answer “yes” to all of these, it is not a good home for your pet.
- Have you visited the new home and feel it is safe and caring?
- Did you interview your potential adopter?
Use our Steps to Adopt and adoption applications as guidelines for making your own adoption interview questions. You should ask if they have other pets or children, if they have their own veterinarian, what their housing restrictions are if any, and if the pet will be mainly indoor or outdoor as a start.
- If you don’t know the adopter personally, did you ask for ID and personal references?
- Did you put it in writing?
Require the adopter to sign a contract stating the requirements of adoption upon which both parties agree. As part of the contract, require the adopter to contact you if he or she decides at some point that they must give up the pet.
* It’s Raining Cats & Dogs – Homes Needed NOW! August 8-16, 2013 - All cat adoption fees will be just $25, and dog adoption fees will be $50. Meet your match at www.washhumane.org/adopt.
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