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Maybe you think you can’t keep your pet any longer. Or a relative or friend has fallen on hard times, making care of a pet more difficult. Underdog Rescue has some suggestions to help you decide what to do.

First, please keep in mind that your pet is helpless without you. NEVER under any circumstances abandon pets outdoors where they are vulnerable to vehicles, the elements, predators and starvation.

Second, be aware that it may take a while to find a good home. Many shelters are overcrowded and can only keep the animal for a limited time before euthanizing (killing) or transferring it. Private no-kill groups like Underdog Rescue and breed rescue groups may try to help you find a home, but we, too, are often filled to capacity. You may be put on a waiting list or simply rejected.

Options for Every Situation

You’re moving

Your new home doesn’t accept pets. We hear this often. However, pet-friendly rentals exist in every community. For some leads, a great place to start is with the Humane Society of the United States. For all sorts of information and other links, visit their page Also check out People with Pets

If you must move to a place that doesn’t accept pets, ask the landlord about a refundable “pet security deposit.” . Another suggestion is to welcome the landlord to inspect the place quarterly. Ask if you can introduce your pet to the landlord. Meeting a well-groomed, well-behaved animal can go a long way to building your case that you would make a good tenant. So may a copy of your pet’s obedience-class certificate or references from previous landlords, your vet or neighbors.

You don’t have time for your pet.

Are you worrying about not giving your pet enough time? That’s an easy one. If you feel that your pet is lonely or bored because of your busy schedule, consider getting another pet to provide some company. Are you concerned about your pet’s lack of exercise? Maybe you have a friend or neighbor who would actually enjoy having a pet to walk without the responsibility of ownership. Ask around! Also consider the fact that a less-than-ideal amount of time with you is by far a better option for your pet than the stress of a stint in a shelter—and possible euthanization if no new home can be found.

Baby on the way?

A new baby is another reason people commonly give up pets. New parents may worry about allergies to pets, or not having enough time for the pet with the demands of a new baby. And let’s face it, when compared to a child, the once-beloved dog or cat may fall down in the owner’s esteem. But consider how much a child can learn about caring, sharing and responsibility from having a pet. Pets can also be good for kids in terms of health. Recent studies in several respected medical journals show that early childhood exposure to animals decreases a child’s risk of developing allergies and asthma. Just as a first child must adjust to a sibling, so can a pet learn to adjust to children.

Behavior issues?

If aggression is the issue, Underdog Rescue urges you to have your pet evaluated by a professional trainer. We can make a recommendation if you contact us.

In fact, most behavioral problems can be solved with help from a trainer and a commitment of time and effort by the owner. That includes house training problems, escaping the yard, digging holes and chewing on furniture.

A pet with medical problems.

If your dog or cat develops a medical problem and you can’t afford the bills, many humane groups offer some financial assistance. Contact Underdog Rescue and we’ll help you find possible resources.

A personal health crisis.

This is a tough one, but there are a couple of organizations that may be able to help. Tails of Hope in Gurnee, IL, is dedicated to helping folks moving to nursing homes or assisted living facilities as well as those who are terminally ill to place their pets through foster care and adoption. Go to

What to do if you MUST relinquish your pet

If, after exhausting all your options, you find you must seek a new home for your pet, here are a few suggestions.

Advertise. Place ads in local newspapers. Create flyers with a photo and description of your pet and place it in vets offices, pet stores or any place with good potential adopters.

Ask for an adoption fee. This will help discourage pit bull rings seeking bait animals and other highly undesirable adopters.

Screen potential adopters by asking questions about their history with pets and their views on training and caring for pets. Please feel free to use the Underdog Rescue adoption application as a guide for questions to ask.

Do a home check to evaluate the living conditions of the adopter’s home. You will want to ensure that your adopter has been truthful and the new home will provide a safe environment.

Check with a rescue group about listing your pet on and helping you find an adopter. Like many rescue groups, Underdog Rescue has limited space for new animals that aren’t in danger of being euthanized. But we will always do our best to help you.


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