Things to consider before surrendering your pet

Published on 13 February 2022

Giving up a family pet is never an easy decision. However, in some circumstances it is ultimately the best choice for you and your pet.

We understand it can be hard to know if you are making the right choice or not, so here are some tips to guide your decision-making process.

For no-judgement surrender advice, give our team a call on 03 9224 222.

Why are you considering surrendering your pet?

There are many reasons why people chose to surrender their pet. Each circumstance is unique and there are many factors that you need to consider before making the decision to surrender. Ask yourself these questions:

Have you had a discussion with all other people who will be impacted by this decision?
Is there a family member or friend who could provide a suitable home for your pet?
If you don’t live near an RSPCA Victoria shelter, have you tried contacting other shelters, rescue groups, or your local council ranger?

Addressing issues before surrender

Before making the decision to surrender your pet, it’s worthwhile considering whether you can change your circumstances so you can keep your animal.

  • Not enough time to care for the pet – Working flexibly from home is an option for some people or you could try sharing everyday tasks like walking the dog with other members of your household.
  • The pet is exhibiting behaviour problems – Investigate behaviour training options. Some behaviour problems like barking, digging or spraying can be easily fixed.
  • Financial circumstances have changed – Consider payment plan options for veterinary treatment.
  • Moving interstate or overseas – Plan in advance to take your pet with you. Animals are incredibly adaptable to changes in their environment and may thrive in their new home.
  • Landlord doesn’t accept pets – Changes to the Rental Tenancies Act mean a landlord now cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant based on the fact they have a pet.
  • You can take the matter to VCAT if they do.
  • The pet keeps escaping – Escape-proof your yard with new fences and netting and address any underlying behaviour issues that may trigger escapism in your pet. We can talk to you about some enrichment ideas to keep your dog healthy and happy at home

Consider you and your pet’s wellbeing

Sometimes having a pet doesn’t work out the way you planned. For example, some animals have severe behavior issues that you may not be able to manage with your current lifestyle.

We encourage you to consider how keeping your pet may impact your, and your pet’s, quality of life now and into the future. Remember having a pet is a lifelong commitment; sometimes surrendering an animal to a shelter is the best welfare outcome for both you and them.

Chat with the experts

You will need to book an appointment to surrender your pet to RSPCA Victoria. This ensures that you have enough time to consider your decision and don’t feel pressure to make your choice on the spot.

If you are considering surrendering your pet, please give our team a call on 03 9224 2222. We will provide no-judgement advice on the best choice for you and your pet. We are here to help.

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