Life can sometimes take a difficult turn. Job loss. Having to relocate. Divorce. Death in the family. These life events can sometimes result in a wonderful pet needing a new home. In an effort to help families and individuals who need assistance, VCAS has developed a Pet Retention, or safety net, program which helps over 1,000 people each year. We facilitate the re-homing efforts of animals in need and offer resources and short-term assistance.
Alternatives to Pet Surrender
- Did you acquire your pet from a breeder?
- If so, you would have signed a contract stipulating that the pet can/should be returned if you decide or can no longer keep them.
- Did you acquire your pet from an Animal Rescue organization?
- If so, have you contacted that rescue organization? You would have signed a contract stipulating that the pet can/should be returned if you decide or can no longer keep them.
- New baby in the family?
- Are you moving?
- There are apartments, townhouses, and condos that accept pets. Many places will even allow you to spread a pet deposit over multiple months. Also, please note that Emotional Support Animals must be accepted in all housing situations. Check out Pet-Friendly Rentals in the county.
- Don’t have enough time for your dog?
- Experts agree that a dog requires a mere 15 minutes of one-on-one time with his owner each day to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. Pets reduce personal stress and can add years to your life and even decrease the amount of medication you take – try to make the time for you and your dog.
- Are there behavioral issues?
- Is your dog having trouble getting along with other animals, or are there other behavioral issues that have led to your decision to give up your dog? If so, let us help you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can recommend a local trainer. Take a look at our Behavior & Training Page for information on a wide range of pet issues. Many problems can be improved by having your pet spayed or neutered. Contact our Pet Retention Coordinator (KeepMyPet@ventura.org) to learn about the many resources available. If you didn’t socialize your dog as a puppy, it’s not too late to enroll them in obedience school. It’s fun and can count as your 15 minutes of bonding time.
- Experiencing financial issues?
- Visit our Domestic, Housing and Veterinary Care Assistance page which contains financial assistance resources.
- Solutions Checklist!
- Have you tried finding your pet a new home on your own?
- Have you checked with family/friends/neighbors/coworkers to see if they can take your pet?
- Have you tried re-homing your pet using the Adopt-A-Pet portal?
- Have you read our list of Re-Homing Tips that will increase your chances of finding a new home for your pet?
- Have you listed your pet on NextDoor.com ?
- Have you tried temporarily boarding as a temporary solution?
- Have you talked with your doctor about obtaining a prescription for an “Emotional Support Animal” that will allow you to keep a pet even if a landlord/property manager directs you otherwise?
- Have you tried setting up a GoFundMe to raise funds for a vet procedure or pet deposit?
- Have you contacted “Dogs on Deployment ” regarding the safe keeping of your pet while you’re on active duty?
- Have you attended one of our monthly low-cost Rabies vaccination clinics? Making sure your pet is up-to-date on their shots will make your pet more adoptable.
Re-Homing (Giving Your Pet To Someone)
VCAS has partnered with Adopt-a-Pet.com to improve our courtesy rehoming efforts. In addition to being listed below, owners will now have the option to have their pet listed on multiple sites and receive expert advice from Adopt-a-Pet.com staff. And with over 3 million potential adopters using Adopt-a-Pet.com each month, community pets will find new homes faster while keeping them out of the shelter system.
Courtesy Re-Homing List
The animals listed here are not available for adoption through Ventura County Animal Services. They are being re-homed by their owner. Please tap/click the pet to learn more and contact their owner directly. Thank you!
Disclaimer: Please note that the information concerning animals listed here was provided by each animal’s owner(s). No one from Ventura County Animal Services has met or evaluated any of these animals, nor have we confirmed the accuracy of the information we were provided for inclusion on this webpage. As with all prospective animals, you should take reasonable steps to evaluate the suitability of a particular pet for your home and family. VCAS hereby disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied (including without limitation any implied warranty of fitness, fitness for a particular purpose and/or merchantability) concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability of the information concerning any animal or the suitability for any particular circumstance of any animal listed here for rehoming. Thank you.
Whether you are using the Adopt-A-Pet portal above to re-home your pet, or trying to re-home your pet on your own, making your pet more “adoptable” will help them find a better home, faster! Here are a few time-tested suggestions:
- Spay/Neuter: Spayed/neutered pets live longer, healthier and happier lives. Plus you won’t be contributing to accidental litters or adding to the overpopulation of animals in our county.
- Vaccinations: Make sure they are up-to-date with all vaccinations.
- Appearance: It’s a fact! Groomed and bathed pets will get re-homed, quicker!
- Photos: Take photos of your pet 1) on the couch, 2) outside and 3) with a person. Use these photos when advertising your pet.
- Create Flyer: Click/Tap here to create a flyer. INCLUDE: Animal name, age, breed, species, spay/neuter status, vaccination status, likes and dislikes, food preferences, preferred toys, training/commands and define any limitations (example: not good with cats, small children, other dogs…) Include your contact information. Use this JPEG flyer to post on social media.
- Advertise: Word-Of-Mouth: Tell your friends, family and co-workers that you’re looking to re-home your pet. Many times an acquaintance will give your pet a new home. This is no time to be shy! Post Flyers: 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. Post Online: Share flyer on social media pages and ask Shelters and Animal Rescues if they can do a courtesy post on your behalf.
- 🎉 INTERESTED PARTY! When someone responds, you have an opportunity to interview them. Do an initial interview over the phone before meeting in person. This way you can eliminate unsuitable potential adopters.
- In-Person Meeting: Use caution when you consider meeting unknown individuals and don’t bring your pet with you. Take a friend with you and meet in a public place like a coffee shop or, better yet, at a police/fire station. It’s a red flag if they refuse to meet in those locations! Ask questions like, “why do you want an animal? Who will care for the animal? Have you had pets? What happened to them?… You may also require an adoption fee to deter unscrupulous individuals. You can donate the adoption fee to a local animal shelter if you’d like. 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.
- The Hand-Off: If you’ve found a suitable family, schedule a time and place to do the hand-off. Bring with you their bed, blanket, toys, food, bowls, litter box/litter (if it’s a cat), medication and all paperwork including veterinary records. Also give them the contact information for the veterinarian you were using so you can continue care. Lastly, go to the shelter to transfer ownership so the pet is now in your name.
- Check-In: After a week, contact the new family and ask how things are going. Provide any assistance over the phone but do not go to their home or meet the pet. Meeting the pet will confuse the animal and it’s just not safe for you to go to someone’s home.
Pet Surrender (Giving Your Pet To a Shelter)
If you have tried everything else and you need to surrender your pet, please e-mail us at KeepMyPet@ventura.org to learn about our intake process and to discuss surrendering your pet. In your email, please include:
- Your Name, Address, and Phone Number
- Type of Pet (i.e., dog, cat…)
- Sex of animal and whether or not they have been spayed/neutered if known
- Pet’s Name, Age, and Breed
- A brief description of the pet including how long you’ve had the pet and where you initially got the pet.
- Why you’re surrendering the pet
- Any medical history and vaccine status
- Any behavior issues we should know about
- Attach up to three (3) images of the pet (one indoors, one outdoors and one with someone if possible)