On a recent Sunday, SVPP received this voicemail:
“I have a dog that I am not able to keep. I don't want to give her to the shelter, so just got to see what if you guys had any options or if you guys had any resources that you could guide me towards — that would be awesome. She's a sweet dog. I just can't keep her.”— not more homeless pets. Between people returning Covid-era adopted pets, changed minds, unforeseen circumstances, kitten season and strays in need, shelters are beyond capacity.
There is a much-needed shift in the thinking of our communities and pet owners. Shelters can no longer be considered the go-to solution for everything related to pet homelessness, pet rescue, lifesaving, and rehoming. Too many pets are at risk for one facility in each community (even each community even has this resource) to address everything at every level of pet homelessness.
First and foremost, SVPP has a rehoming page that includes resources and tools that can help you find a new home for your pet. Nextdoor.com is one great option for reaching local families who might be looking for your type of pet. Another option is signing up on Get Your Pet…From one good home to another. This is an online pet adoption community where people who want to adopt a pet can connect with people who need to rehome a cat or dog.
In trying to keep on the forefront of this important issue, SVPP has become a HASS Rescue Partner (Human Animal Support Services). This project focuses on keeping animals in their homes and communities, building foster-centric organizations, and empowering animal lovers to find solutions for common challenges.
We had a personal situation a few years ago when a neighbor in the midst of a health crises abandoned her indoor only cat — leaving it outside when she moved. We discovered this when we saw the litter box and cat tree in her dumpster. We rescued the cat and brought it home (after a vet visit), and kept it separate from our other pets while we worked our “work” networks. We found Peaches a happy home with a colleague of mine — and she drove off with her new owner in a white BMW. But, had the previous owner let us know in advance we would have done the same thing without the panic. Rescuing pets continues to be a personal and community-based effort.
When you encounter owners who need to surrender their pets, please offer them resources provided on the SVPP page, including the ideas for Nextdoor and Get Your Pet. The pet’s life could depend on it.
Karen Zamel is long-time SVPP volunteer and a member of the communications team.