For pet owners who genuinely want what’s best for their pet, surrendering a pet to a shelter is a last resort. Since most people can’t imagine surrendering their pet to a shelter where there is a possibility of euthanasia, seeking out a no-kill shelter seems the more acceptable way to go.
What does it mean to surrender a pet to a no-kill shelter?
Life in a shelter, even a no-kill shelter, is no picnic for a dog or a cat. Not only do they experience the stress of being separated from a familiar face, but they have to quickly adapt to living in an unfamiliar environment that looks nothing like home and is, to them, chaotic, loud, and intimidating. They’re handled by strange people, confined to a cage or kennel, and then left alone to make sense of new sights, sounds, and smells.
Shelters are a necessary resource, and we support their efforts.
This doesn’t mean shelters don’t have a respected and essential place in the pet rehoming community. About 2/3 of the animals that end up in shelters (5 million each year) are strays. Whether because of neglect, abandonment, or an accidental litter, stray animals have nowhere else to go. Found on the streets, or rescued from poor living conditions, they are often brought to the nearest shelter malnourished, scared, confused, and in need of medical attention. These animals need the care and rehabilitation that shelters can provide. But, ask any shelter worker if they would willingly surrender their pet to a shelter and they will tell you: a shelter is no place for pets.
Screening for adoption
When people bring their pets to shelters due to financial reasons, death, divorce, housing restrictions, health issues, or other factors beyond their control, they may not realize that shelters have a screening system to determine whether or not a pet is a suitable candidate for adoption. If a pet has an illness or behavioral issue that does not pass muster, they could be deemed ineligible for adoption and turned away.
Often, even healthy, “adoptable” pets are turned away from no-kill shelters. There simply is not enough space to take them in.
There is no guarantee, even for the “winners”
Even when a pet has been found eligible for adoption, accepted into the shelter, is in good health, and is well-behaved, they may not be adopted anytime soon. Many pets sit in cages or kennels for months, experiencing limited human interaction, feeling lonely and abandoned unless and until an adopter comes along.
The bottom line: the current shelter-based system is flawed. There’s a better way to rehome pets.
Get Your Pet to the rescue
Get Your Pet helps pet owners (called Guardians) find a home for their pet before reaching the last resort of surrendering them to a shelter. By connecting people who need to rehome a pet with people looking to adopt a pet like theirs, we can eliminate the “middleman,” gain control over our pet’s fate, and perhaps end up saving their life. Get Your Pet’s home-to-home pet adoption system represents an alternative to shelter adoption that is simple, safe, and judgement-free.
Get Your Pet co-founder Angela Marcus started Get Your Pet in response to seeing first-hand the troubles and flaws of the shelter adoption system. Angela has worked as a veterinary technician, a Forensic Case Coordinator for Pennsylvania’s largest Humane Law Enforcement team, a contributing presenter on the television channel Animal Planet, and as the Operations Director for the Pennsylvania SPCA. Like many in the industry, she saw animals contracting disease, being exposed to the inherent stresses of shelter life, and being euthanized by the millions.
“We are determined that things don’t have to be this way. Not in our 21st century, web-connected world. So we created Get Your Pet, an online community where people who can’t keep their pets connect directly with people who want to adopt a pet.”
Letting the Guardian choose their pet’s new home
At Get Your Pet, we believe no one cares more about or better knows a pet’s needs than their Guardian. In Get Your Pet’s system, it is the Guardians who screen potential adopters, both through the exchange of messages on the site and during a meet-up at a neutral location, where the pet is most likely to act naturally. Get Your Pet gives Guardians guidance throughout the process, providing resources and tips on how to arrive at a successful adoption.
An alternative to shelters that relieves their load
When we keep pets out of shelters, shelters are able to allocate their limited space and resources to the homeless and abused animals that need them most. Shelters are in crisis, and we can help them while at the same time helping pets, Guardians and Adopters.
There’s no such thing as perfect. But there is such a thing as better.
Before surrendering your pet to a shelter, even a no-kill shelter, consider Get Your Pet. It truly is the simpler, smarter more humane way to rehome your pet. With Get Your Pet, you can keep your pet out of the shelter, and help them go from one good home to another.
If you need to rehome your pet, visit getyourpet.com/guardian/get-started to create your pet’s profile and begin accepting inquiries from potential adopters.