Thinking about rehoming your pet?
If you are reading this you are probably finding yourself faced with a very difficult decision of whether or not to give up your pet, and if you do give him or her up how to go about finding them a safe and loving home. We hope this guide can help you to determine what the best course is for you and your canine companion and to get you both started on the right path.
Why are you looking to give up your pet? Is it for financial reasons (cost of vet care, food etc.), behavioral reasons (such as nipping, hyperactivity, doesn’t get along with other pets, etc.), has your family situation changed (new baby, moving, military deployment etc.), are you no longer able to keep your pet due a change in health (such as illness or the dog’s owner has passed away), or is this a dog you found (see our Found Dog Page).
Do I really need to give up my pet? Once you have determined your reasons for giving up your pet you can see if some of the resources in your community can help you keep your dog. We have provided a contact list at the bottom for various community programs below. However, we do understand that even with a little help not everyone will be able to keep their pet. See our Finding a New Home for Fido Page
You May Have an Alternative to Giving Up Your Pet
These alternatives include:
• Financial help with food from a pet food pantry
• Affordable medical care from local shelters
• Resources for obtaining behavior assistance from trusted professionals from local shelters
• If you still unable to keep your pet, a rehoming package to help you safely find a new family for your pet from local shelters
If you are facing challenges with your pet that you are willing to work through with assistance, the following resources are available (See Contact List Below),
1. Food Pantry
Having a difficult time keeping your pet due to finances? Qualified applicants may apply to local pet food pantry and receive donations of pet food. Available at Norfolk SPCA, and Mr. Wiggles Pet Food Pantry, Virginia Beach SPCA
2. Affordable Veterinary Clinic
Preventative care (vaccinations, flea and heartworm control), wellness exams, spay/neuter surgeries, dental cleanings and heartworm treatments. Prices at these clinics are less than what you would pay at a traditional veterinary practice. Available at Norfolk SPCA, Chesapeake Humane Society CARE Clinic, Virginia Beach SPCA, PETA SNIP Clinic, Four Paws Clinic. For low cost surgeries (Cherry eye repair, Amputations, Joint Surgeries etc.) Helping Hands Affordable Surgery
3. Behavior and Training
Shelter staff may be able to help you with minor behavior issues over the phone. For more challenging behavioral issues, local shelters can refer you to one of the trusted and certified professionals in Hampton Roads, like the collaborative training center Happy Paws (www.happypawstraining.org). Hopefully, with a behavioral issue resolved, your pet will be able to continue to be a valued member of your family. Available at Norfolk SPCA, Virginia Beach SPCA, Chesapeake Humane Society
*If you are still unable to keep your pet, please be aware that behavioral issues can be exacerbated when a pet enters the shelter system, so beginning to work through behavioral issues prior to rehoming or admitting a pet to a shelter is the best alternative for your animal's future.
If you are unable to provide a forever home for your pet, but are willing to continue to care for him/her while looking to place him/her with a new family please consider trying a Courtesy Rehoming Service. Available at Norfolk SPCA (http://norfolkspca.com/rehoming.html)
916 Ballentine Blvd. Norfolk, VA 23504
Mr. Wiggles Pet Food Pantry
Chesapeake Humane Society
312 N. Battlefield Blvd. Chesapeake, VA 23320
Virginia Beach SPCA
3040 Holland Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23453
Happy Paws Pet Training
5660 Indian River Road #118, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Four Paws Mobile Clinic
Helping Hands Affordable Surgery
1605 Rhoadmiller St, Richmond, VA 23220