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To improve the lives of the animals in our care, be timely and compassionate in our responses, educate the public through community outreach and, provide for the health and safety of the citizens and animals of Ventura County.

Rehoming Tips

Tips for Rehoming Your Pet:

If you’ve arrived at the decision to rehome your pet, there are certain steps you can take without surrendering your pet to an animal shelter.

When needing to rehome your pet, it’s in their best interest for you to find their new home without them ever leaving your side. Doing this allows you to: play a role in placing your pet with a new family, reduce stress of transition for your pet, and frees up resources for other pets at Ventura County Animal Service.
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First, lets increase your pet's 'Adoptability' to get them rehomed quicker!

1. Spay/Neuter:
  • Increase your pet’s adoptability by having him/her already spayed or neutered.
2. Vaccinations:
  • Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations.

3. Appearances

  • Pets that are bathed and groomed tend to get re-homed quicker.

4. Market:


  • The more people who know your pet needs a new home the greater the chances you’ll find one. Tell your friends, family and co-workers that you’re unable to keep your pet. Many times a close acquaintance will give your loved-one a new home. This is no time to be shy!

5. Photos: 


  • A picture of your pet on the sofa, resting comfortably makes their adoptability factor go through the roof.

6. Post Flyers:

  • Create Your Flyer Here. 
  • Write a short, honest, biography about your pet. Be clear on what your pets’ needs are. (if you’re untruthful, your pet may end up sick or worse)
    • Flyers should include
      • Animal name, age, breed, species, spay/neuter status, vaccination status
      • likes and dislikes
      • food preferences
      • preferred toys
      • training/commands
      • define any limitations: (e.g. not good with cats, small children, other dogs…)
      • Your contact information.
    • Post flyers at work, your family and friend’s workplaces, grocery stores, department store, dog parks, hiking trials, vet offices, pet supply stores, grooming shops, malls, etc. – anywhere you can find a public bulletin board.

7. Promote:

  • Now that you have a digital flyer you just made, you can post the flyer just like a photo on your Social Media pages. You can ask shelters and Animal Rescues if they can do a courtesy post for you.

8. A Potential Adopter:

  • Great! You’ve found an interested party. When someone responds to your flyer, you have an opportunity to interview him or her. Do an initial interview over the phone before meeting in person. By doing so, you can eliminate unsuitable potential adopters early on.

9. In-Person Meeting:

  • Use caution when you consider meeting unknown individuals. Meet in a public place (coffee shops area great) and ask questions to screen potential adopters (oh, and don't bring your pet with you). You may also require an adoption fee to deter unscrupulous individuals. You can donate the adoption fee to a local animal shelter. Use your gut instincts! Ask questions to ensure the they meet the qualifications you seek in a new owner. Doing so will ensure that your pet’s well-being will be met in his/her new home.




Animal Rescue Organizations

Local Animal Rescue Organizations help families rehome pets all the time. Some deal with specific breeds or special needs pets while others have no breed preference. Organized by dedicated individuals who have extensive knowledge, these groups provide a variety of opportunities for your pet. Some "rescues" have actual stores while others are 100% foster-based. Find a local animal rescue group in your area to learn what they have to offer by utilizing Petfinder-Rescue Search. Simply enter your zip code and enter in the species, breed or condition (e.g. senior, blind, etc.).

Please understand that many rescues do NOT have vacancies due to the unfortunate number of pets in the system. Don’t give up! Ask when you can call back. Ask to be put on a list. If your pet is already neutered, vaccinated, bathed and clipped, they are more likely to take your pet. Ask rescue groups if they could do a courtesy post for you. They might even be willing to help screen potential adopters or at least give you a few pointers on what to look out for. But there is more that you can do yourself!

Never abandon your animal. Abandonment is cruel and against the law. If you are still unable to make it work with your pet or not are able to rehome him/her, please contact our Pet Retention Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. But remember, surrender is the LAST RESORT, not the first. Some pets will live at a shelter for well over a year so be certain that surrendering your pet is the last resort.

Thank you for being a responsible parent and following these steps to help rehome your four-legged loved one.

Additional Rehoming Resources: