Note: Joybound focuses rescue efforts on at-risk animals in overburdened municipal shelters, and does not accept pet surrenders by the public.

Sometimes, unfortunate circumstances arise and you are unable to continue caring for your pet: loss of employment, lack of pet-friendly housing, and sudden, unexpected medical situations just to name a few.

This can be a confusing, difficult position for families who may think their only option is bringing a pet to their local animal shelter. In fact, rehoming your pet yourself is usually a better option than bringing them to a shelter. By locating a new home on your own, you can avoid exposing your pet to shelter stress, have the potential ability to personally select their new home (and stay connected with them down the road), reserve critical resources for other animals in need, and feel confident that their future is both safe and secure. For best results, allow as much time as possible to find a new home and use your personal network to help spread the word.

Rehoming your pet yourself is usually a better option than bringing them to a shelter.

First Steps

Gather up some information about your pet to write a bio. Think of what their best attributes are and what would make someone else fall in love with them. Be sure to highlight the best and cutest parts of your pet’s personality, but be honest. If your cat doesn’t do well with other cats or if your dog has issues with separation anxiety, include that as well. Images are extremely important, too! Your smartphone should take high-quality photos, but if you aren’t great at photography, consider having a friend or family member help out.

This information can now be used for creating flyers, posting online, and more! Flyers can be printed and distributed to places where animal-lovers frequent, such as pet stores and veterinary offices. And in our increasingly digital world, posting on social media (Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) can connect you with thousands of animal-lovers who may be a great fit for your pet.

Don’t forget to notify friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers that you are looking for a new home for your pet! Word of mouth networking is often the most effective method of finding a new home.

Online Rehoming Resources

Many local organizations offer the ability to post your pet on their platform or website to spotlight them to their supporters. These businesses/programs were aggregated as a courtesy and are neither endorsed, nor guaranteed, by Joybound People & Pet Alliance.

Joybound’s Rehoming Hub

Offers adoption ads on Joybound’s website for pet guardians who need to rehome.

Berkeley Humane logo

Berkeley Humane’s courtesy listings

Offers adoption ads on Berkeley Humane’s website for pet guardians who need to rehome.

Contra Costa Humane logo

Contra Costa Humane Society’s rehoming assistance

Offers adoption ads on Contra Costa Humane Society’s website for pet guardians who need to rehome.

Furry Friends Rescue’s guardian assistance program

Offers adoption ads on Furry Friends Rescue’s website for pet guardians who need to rehome.

Get Your Pet

Connects people rehoming pets with new adopters.

Marin Humane’s private rehoming

Offers adoption ads on Marin Humane’s website for pet guardians who need to rehome.

Rehome by Adopt-A-Pet

Shares your pet’s profile with Adopt-A-Pet’s millions of viewers.

SF SPCA logo

SF SPCA’s private rehoming

Offers adoption ads on SF SPCA’s website for pet guardians who need to rehome.

Additional Resources

Pet Safety Net

Thanks to a partnership with Maddie’s Fund and Antioch Animal Services, Pet Safety Net assists qualifying Contra Costa County residents with critical resources to prevent pets from being surrendered.

Guardian Program

Who will look after your pets if something should happen to you? The Guardian Program is a service for legacy donors who specify that they are entrusting the care of their pet to Joybound at the time of their death.

Adoption Return Policy

Was your pet adopted from us? We can support you through the difficult decision to return your pet.

Read our adoption return policy or submit a return request