Before surrendering your pet to a shelter or rescue group, we always suggest you consider your options. Often times, people think they have no other choice but to rehome their pet, but sometimes with just a little effort, your decision to keep your pet, or even hold on to your pet for a few weeks, could mean the difference between life and death for them. Here are some things to consider.
First, what is your reasoning for surrendering your pet? Does he/she need training? Does your dog dig under your fence? Has your cat stopped using the litter pan? Talking to a trainer or behaviorist may help solve your problem. Sometimes making minor adjustments to your home can be an easy and affordable fix. Are you getting married, having a baby, or moving? Did you start a new job with longer hours? Often times, major life changes make people think that their pets won’t adapt, or that they would be better off in a different home. Here’s the truth: your dog or cat will likely adjust to your new life and your new schedule just fine. The sad reality is that with our community flooded with so many homeless pets, it could take weeks, months, or sometimes even years for a rescue group or shelter to find your pet a new home.
If you have decided to rehome your pet, here are some local resources and options, and a brief description to explain their differences.
Marion County Animal Services (MCAS)
- Phone number: (352) 671-8700
- Website: http://www.marioncountyfl.org/departments-agencies/departments-a-n/animal-services/animal-center-and-services
- MCAS is the only open-admission shelter in Marion County.
- All animals picked up by Animal Control are taken to MCAS.
- MCAS is operated by our county and funded by tax-payer dollars.
- MCAS is a shelter facility.
Humane Society of Marion County (HSMC)
- Phone: (352) 873-7387
- Website: http://www.thehsmc.org
- HSMC intakes animals based on staff evaluations and does intake by appointment.
- HSMC is a private, non-profit organization.
- HSMC is a no-kill shelter facility.
Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL)
- Phone: (352) 289-0800
- Website: http://www.vocalforpets.org
- VOCAL Intake Form
- VOCAL intakes animals based on foster availability and temperament
- VOCAL is foster-based and does not have a shelter location.
- VOCAL is a private, non-profit organization.
- VOCAL also offers a program called the “community animal” program, where we agree to use our online resources to list your pet for adoption, but we do not take custody of your pet.
- Phone: (352) 840-0663
- Website: http://www.shelteringhands.org
- Sheltering Hands is a private, non-profit organization
- Sheltering Hands focuses on feral and homeless cats in our community.
SPCA of Marion County
- Phone: (352) 362-0985
- SPCA is a a private, non-profit organization
- SPCA is foster based, and takes in animals based on foster availability.
Rehoming Your Pet Yourself
We hope that you make a decision that is best for your pet when deciding to rehome them. If the resources above are unable to help rehome your pet, and you have decided to rehome on your own, here are some helpful tips:
- Never list your pet online for free. Dog fighters and animals abusers often look for free animals as easy targets. Even a small rehoming fee deters people with bad intentions.
- Ask for vet references, and perform a home visit with the potential adopter to ensure your pet will be kept in a safe environment.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t give the person your pet. If you have no other options for your animal, having them humanely euthanized is kinder than a fate of abuse.