Rehoming Your Pet (Rehoming Resources) - Nashville Humane
Rehoming Your Pet via Direct Adoption
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Rehoming Your Pet

When Rehoming is Necessary

Should rehoming prove necessary – We emphasize and advocate direct adoption. Direct Adoption allows the least stressful transition for the animal – often in contrast to the shelter environment which commonly amplifies anxiety, aggression and illness. We recommend owners dedicate at least one month to the process of rehoming via direct adoption before partnering with NHA or an alternative rescue or shelter to schedule an appointment. Remember: You are your pet’s greatest advocate and their best option in finding a new home! Many assume shelters and rescue groups are more adept at placing animals as they have the experience, facilities and screening guidelines to do so. However, as the pet-parent – the person who knows their pet best,  you are able to provide the most accurate and detailed information possible to prospective adopters and in doing so determine the best fit for their future! Direct adoption also allows you – the pet’s current family – the ability to bond with your pet’s prospective family – allowing a healing end to what is often a difficult transition and or newfound relationships which provide ongoing support for all!


Ready to Prep Your Animal for Placement? These five action items will allow for the highest chance of rehoming success!



  1. Spay and Neuter Your Pet Prior to Rehoming: Did you know puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed or neutered? Spay and neuter not only prevents unwanted litters but also reduces unwanted behaviors such as spraying, marking, mounting, howling, roaming, and aggression. It also decreases your pet’s risk of cancer and may increase their life span by 3-5 years! If cost is an issue, please view our Pet Medical Help page for resources!
  2. Make Sure the Animal is Well Groomed, in Good Health and Up-to-Date on Vaccinations and Prevention for Fleas, Ticks and Heartworms. If this is not the case or this is not possible due to financial crisis, be sure to advise prospective adopters prior to adoption. When adopting, make certain the adopter has copies of all essential medical records.
  3. House-trained and Reasonably Well-Behaved. If your animal is not house-trained or has behavioral issues, be sure to be transparent in relaying this to prospective adopters.  Certain adopters look for the “underdog” while others may be unable to facilitate extensive training.
  4. Now Get Creative! High quality-photos showcasing your dog’s best features with thorough descriptions are essential in rehoming your animal! When writing a description for your pet – be sure to list their habits, behavioral quirks and address any medical needs they may have. Need help putting your pet’s best foot forward? Use our simple and swift “Let’s Build a Bio!” tool!
  5. Keep Positive, Stay Persistent! Finding the best fit for your animal may take time – stay positive and keep persistent and don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth and social media! Remember, you are your pet’s greatest advocate and their best option in finding a new home!

Recommended Rehoming Networks

Adopt a Pet

As your pet’s greatest advocate, you are able to respond to potential adopters directly working alongside Petco’s screening guidance to find the best home possible.

Get Your Pet

Offers the new adopter a vet exam, 30 days of pet insurance and discounts on essentials to get them started – beneficial to both the current and future family.

Rescue Me

This rehoming network has assisted in over one million adoptions to date!

While the rehoming networks above have led to the successful placement of millions of pets to date, you might also consider asking your neighbor, coworker, family or close friends if they’re seeking to adopt! Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth and social media – You may even try the Facebook group Nashville Pet Rehoming. As a reminder: Always ask for a rehoming fee and references. Your pet will thank you for your dedication as will their future family!


When you’re ready to transfer ownership, make sure it’s legal! In addition to signing a transfer of ownership contract, be sure to transfer ownership of key identifies such as your pet’s microchip and rabies tag. You might also contact your primary vet to notify them of this transfer. For information regarding best rehoming practices as well as samples of adoption questionnaires and contracts, click here.

Rehoming a Pet With a Bite History

While rehoming may be a successful pathway for some, it’s important to note that it is not always the most humane and or responsible pathway available. In instances of pets with a bite history, it is often the opposite – lending to an increase in stress and reactive behavior in the pet and tangible harm for the prospective family. As considerations for rehoming are often complex and difficult to navigate, we recommend asking the following questions:


Is it safe? If you are rehoming because you no longer feel safe when surrounded by your pet, imagine your pet being in a new environment – this new environment containing no familiarity or bond, having new stressors with new persons unfamiliar and unexperienced in managing your individual pet’s behavior. What can be expected in this environment – do these factors make your pet more or less likely to react in stress? How can you ensure no safety concerns exist and how should the prospective family feel confident in this?


Is it manageable? The human-animal bond is significant – so significant that it influences our lifestyles, the way we spend our money and time, where we live, who we interact with and so much more. In instances of pets with a bite history – behavioral management is not only necessary but a constant requirement of responsible pet ownership. When considering the bond you share with your pet – ask yourself, it is reasonable to ask someone who does not have this bond to manage this behavior as you have? Is what you’re doing to manage this behavior easily replicable and does the average family have the social, time, and financial resources to facilitate this? What kind of quality of life should the prospective family expect in managing this behavior? What impact has managing this behavior had on your family?


Finally, what is most humane and responsible for a pet that poses a safety concern and cannot be managed? While these questions and more should be discussed amongst your family and vet, further resources for consideration may be viewed via our Directory of Resources with local veterinary contacts available via our Pet Medical Help page.