Our primary mission is to provide support and relief to existing animal rescues and sanctuaries in Minnesota. We currently have a very specialized and small foster base, so we are only able to dedicate our time, resources, and expertise to those cats and kittens at highest risk. For this reason, we are unable take owner surrenders or strays. Since we want to help you do what's best for your pet during this challenging time, we’d like to provide you with some information we hope will assist.
With time and patience, you can successfully re-home your pet.
If you are attempting to re-home an animal you originally adopted from an area rescue group or shelter, we recommend you review your original adoption agreement. Many organizations contractually require you contact them first in the event you can no longer keep animal in your home. If this is the case, we advise you contact the original rescue organization to inquire about next steps for returning an animal. While it can take time for a rescue group to find an available foster home, these rescue groups will work as quickly as possible to assist you in your time of need. If you do not have a rescue group to contact - read on.
Step 1: Re-homing Yourself
Your first and best option is to try and find a new home for your pet. Since you know your pet best, you are truly the ideal person to find a new home for them!
Start by putting together an email and a social post that includes three really good photos of your pet along with an HONEST and eloquent description. Your photos should include a side view, a close up of the face and one full body shot. Be sure to pick photos that best illustrate your pet's unique personality. Pictures and words will truly accomplish miracles if you are honest and forthcoming. Be sure your description reveals what you know about the pet - breed, age, sex, likes, dislikes, good with other cats, great with dogs, dislikes children, loves children, hasn't seen the vet in a while, was at the vet last week, etc.
BE HONEST (yes, we can't say it enough) – just because he or she may not be perfect does not mean they aren't perfect for someone! It is critical you provide all known medical information (vaccines, spayed/neutered, de-clawed, struggling to use litterbox, having health issues, etc.). Think of this like rehoming a child – depending upon the age of your cat or dog, you are asking someone to make a commitment for up to 20 years. People need to know what they are committing to even if it doesn't seem ideal.
A sample letter is provided at the bottom of this page.
You will want to email everyone in your social circle and ask they share the information about your pet. Be sure to post on your social pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) so friends and family can easily help you spread the word. All it takes is one friend of a friend and you could find the perfect home! Please DO NOT use sites like Craig's List, Offer Up, or the "Free To A Good Home", etc. and be sure to provide an email address with your correct contact information. We recommend you set up a separate email address so you can field inquiries and questions as long as you check it frequently.
Keep in mind and never forget - you are asking for a serious commitment to ensure the care and well being of your pet. When you talk to potential homes - do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions to make certain you are have found the right home. To responsibly rehome, you need to be certain the new pet parent and the pet can meet each other's needs.
Examples of good photos
Step 2: Asking for Help
If you’ve exhausted the rehoming route, your next step is to reach out to local rescues and shelters. Start by looking on Petfinder.com where you'll find contact information for every rescue group and shelter in the state of Minnesota. Not all shelters are no-kill or are equipped to take owner surrenders or stray cats, so you should do your homework via the “about” section before you contact one.
Next step? Email and/or call to see if there are any openings for owner surrenders or strays. Some rescue organizations even have an owner surrender form readily available on their website.
Ways to help the rescue group or shelter say "yes":
An offer of a donation can be helpful. Keep this math in mind: cats are normally adopted out to new homes for between $100 -$225. An organization's cost to vet (spay/neuter, micro-chip, deworm, vaccinate, perform a dental, a urinalysis, a fecal, etc.) can easily range from $250 to $350. Most rescues working with cats are losing money on every one they help. An offer of a donation to support your pet's care while waiting on a new is greatly appreciated and many times desperately needed.
Another way to make it easier for a rescue group to say "yes" is by offering to be a “foster person”. If you can “foster” the cat/dog until space opens up elsewhere or until the cat/dog is adopted, many groups will be in a better position to help you. In this scenario, the group takes technical ownership and lists the cat/dog on their adoption page for viewing by those looking to adopt. The group would potentially request the foster (you) bring the cat/dog to their public adoption events or “meet and greets” if any are being hosted. The majority of groups are 100% volunteer staffed, so all are overwhelmed, over-budget and struggling to keep up with the vast need for foster space. Having a foster partner in YOU eases the heavy burden of choosing between assisting your cat/dog and leaving a cat/dog at impound who could be at risk.
Try to keep in mind, there are thousands of cats and dogs out there that need help. By offering a little fundraising relief, a temporary foster home and/or a fully veterinarian-checked pet, you’ve already overcome many of the difficulties rescue groups face in helping you find a new home for your pet. Last but not least – if you are surrendering multiple cats or dogs, most groups cannot commit to adopting them out together. They will always try, but it’s just not as easy as one would think. Their job is to rehome as quickly as possible because every space taken up in their program means another animal somewhere may perish.
Do not give up!
It will take a little time but it’s worth it. Remember – a life is at stake and it is worth the time and trouble.
Once you have your email and photos ready to send, reach out to everyone in your contact list with a gentle request to “pass it on”. You just never know who might be interested! If a couple of weeks pass without any response - calling a rescue might be your best next step.
We truly appreciate your care and concern regarding the welfare of your pet, and wish you the best of luck in your search for a new home.
Below is sample rehoming email
(name, cat photos and contact info has been redacted for privacy purposes)
My cat (cats name) is in need of a loving home.
Being unemployed for a prolonged period, I’ve had to recently move out of my house- as we're losing it, and am currently sleeping on a couch. Without steady income, I can not rent an apartment to be able to keep (cats name) as I would very much like to do.
(cats name) loves to give hugs and will put his paws around your neck and tuck his head under your chin. He's really affectionate, and will approach people he's never met before and try to become friends. In the winter, he likes to come under the covers for a couple minutes in the morning. (cats name) is strong and can be fast when he wants to be, but generally, he likes to take his time and he makes jumping look effortless. (cats name) has also lived in a home with a dog, and there were never any issues between them.
(cats name) is current on his shots and is fixed. He is three years old and although FIV positive, is currently in great health.
I'm really going to miss my favorite bear cub, but (cats name) is in desperate need of a new loving home. Even if you're able to take him in temporarily until I can get on my feet or until a permanent home for him can be found, that would be greatly appreciated. I cannot keep him at the vet much longer.