Private Surrenders

Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment, so relinquishing ownership should be taken seriously.

Can the reason you are wanting to rehome your pet be resolved? 

We are inundated by private surrender requests and will not be accepting enquiries of this nature while there are unwanted and abandoned cats and dogs in pound facilities.  We will not reply to your email.  Please be mindful of the anxiety it causes our volunteers who are subjected to threats from owners who declare they will euthanise their pets if we are unable to help.

Rescue groups are traditionally for animals without owners, so compromising a foster home with privately surrendered animals places shelter animals (without owners) at a high risk of being euthanised.  We represent pets who have been abandoned by their owners, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

The following surrender reasons are not exceptional;

  • I’m having a baby – congratulations, however we’re at a loss to understand why having a baby would mean you can no longer keep your cat, or dog.  Have you been told that your cat may harm your unborn child?  While comments like this are usually well meaning, they are also ill-informed.  If this is about your cat, are you concerned about the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.  The fear of direct contact with cats faeces during pregnancy is an unfortunate reason why many cats are surrendered.  The truth is the primary reason for concern is found in infected meat, which is inadequately cooked.  This is the main risk factor for infection with toxoplasmosis.   It is caused by parasites that live in microscopic cysts found in infected meat.  Cats become of source of toxoplasmosis if they’re are fed infected meat.  It is one of the most common parasites found in warm blooded animals, including humans.  Because cats only shed the organism for a few days in their entire life, the chance of human exposure is small.  Owning a cat does not mean you will be infected with the disease.  It is unlikely that you would be exposed to the parasite by touching an infected cat, because cats usually do not carry the parasite on their fur. It is also unlikely that you can become infected through cat bites or scratches.  If this is your primary concern for wanting to surrender your cat, please speak to your Doctor and ask him/her for a blood test to check for antibodies to the toxoplasma gondii parasite.  Your body’s natural defense system will make these antibodies if you have been infected by this parasite.  For most people, toxoplasmosis is not dangerous and goes away on its own. After you have been infected, you will have antibodies to toxoplasma gondii for the rest of your life, so you cannot be infected again.  A simple blood test will also determine whether your cat has been infected.   Protecting yourself at any time from any disease is mostly about hygiene.  Do wear rubber gloves (when cleaning the litter tray) or have someone else clean them for you.  If you’re more concerned about the relationship between your cat and your baby, please read up on how to best introduce a cat to your home cats and babies – with a little bit of effort and forward planning, you can make it work!
  • My new cat (or dog) doesn’t get on with my existing pet,  so I’d like to find to a home for the existing cat, or dog. Putting your own wants and needs aside, wouldn’t the fair and moral obligation be to return or rehome the latter?  Please be patient as any introduction takes time, from weeks to months.  Remember that settling in can be tough on your existing pets as well, especially if they’ve been the sole object of your affection, and suddenly their space is occupied by a newcomer.  Introductions need to be carefully planned. For cats, do keep them separated for a few days…weeks if necessary.  There may be some vocalising, that’s normal behaviour, and be satisfied that if both cats are independently happy, then that’s a good result.  Same with dogs.  This is an excellent site for persons wanting to learn the often misunderstood language of cat behaviour, especially from an introduction point of view on how to introduce a second cat – you just have to think like a one!
  • I can’t find a rental that will allow pets – keep looking, they are out there, although you may have to widen your search.  The location may not be as convenient, however there’s a good chance you’re more likely to find a pet friendly rental.  Try asking your previous Realtor to provide a reference, or offer to pay a pet bond in addition to the regular bond.  This speaks volumes about your confidence in your pet and acknowledges your responsibility to the owner of the property.  Check out pet friendly rentals which is a site dedicated to pet friendly accommodation in Australia.
  • My new partner is allergic to my cat, or dog – his or her doctor can perform a simple allergy test to determine what it is that causes a reaction.  Most people believes it’s cats with long hair, or hair in general, however it’s actually more complicated than that.  There are over-the-counter medications that are helpful, or  ask your doctor about immunotherapy (allergy shots) as parting with your beloved cat would be disappointing, especially  if there was a chance of retaining your cat and your new relationship doesn’t work out. Allergy shots are similar to a vaccine in that patients are injected with a small amount of certain allergens to increase tolerance to the specific allergen. This method of treatment is ideal for those who do not wish to take medications on an ongoing basis.
  • I feel my cat or dog is missing out as no longer have time – your dog doesn’t know how to count time, so make a commitment to get up earlier and provide regular exercise or provide enrichment based time together, or adopt a friend for them.
  • My cat scratches your furniture – provide your cat with suitable cat scratching furniture, and ask your vet how to clip their nails.  When you’re not home, confine your cat to an area that isn’t precious, and be aware that scratching is essentially normal behaviour.  This link provides some good information on how to help your cat do what comes naturally without any adverse side effects.  Please take a moment to check our how to stop your cat clawing furniture  NEVER punish your cat if you catch him or her scratching an unacceptable object.  It’s too late to “punish” after the fact.  All it will do is harm your relationship.  You need to teach your cat where to scratch.  If he or she prefers an object that is out of bounds, try making a loud noise or clap your hands to distract him, or her.
  • My cat is inappropriately toileting – this is a very common complaint which is frustrating and complicated, however it is often fixable.  Have your changed suddenly to a different type of litter, are the litter trays clean, are there changes in his or her home environment, and most importantly, is your purpose in cleaning the soiled area to destroy the bacteria that causes the odour to be retained?  Because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean your cat can’t, which is why cats will often return to the same area to urinate or defecate.  Products like Biozet (which is a laundry washing powder) destroys the bacteria that causes the odor.  Biozet is available in most supermarkets.  Have you recently moved address, introduced another pet, child or partner?  Often a cat who is stressed may start toileting outside of the litter box.  There are a plethora of synthetic feel food products on the market.  We have found this collar particularly helpful for anxious incoming cats https://www.sentrypetcare.com/good-behavior/
  • My dog is destroying my garden – most likely he or she is bored, invest in toys that provide enrichment, provide him or her with plenty of exercise, or adopt a friend.
  • My dog barks incessantly when I’m not at home – as above, your dog is bored, and most likely lonely – exercise, enrich and seek professional advice on how to help him or her cope with separation from you.

For information on Pets and Body Corporate in Queensland please click here.

Behavioural problems are rarely a good reason to re-home your pet because you are just passing on the problem to someone else, particularly dogs with known anti-social problems.  It isn’t a fair and reasonable option.  Please, be responsible and consult a reputable trainer who can help you work through any problems that you are experiencing.

Additionally, this link may be helpful:  help, I need to rehome my pet .

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