MSPCA-Angell Headquarters

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
angellquestions@angell.org
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
For on-site assistance (check-ins and pick-ups):
(339) 970-0790
angellquestions@angell.org
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Angell at Nashoba – Low-Cost Wellness Care

100 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886
(978) 577-5992
angellquestions@angell.org
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Finding a New Home for Your Pet

If you can no longer care for your pet, it may be best to find a new home for your pet while they stay with you. Below are some helpful tips to get you started on the search for a well-matched home for your animal. We encourage you to look over these rehoming tips before pursuing to surrender your pet, you may find a link to our surrender form at the bottom of this page.

Before You Start

  • Evaluate your pet’s adoption potential. If your pet has a medical or behavioral challenge that you are unable to treat or address, consider that a potential adopter may not feel comfortable taking on that responsibility.
  • Make sure your pet is healthy. Check that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Ask your vet for an electronic version of your pet’s medical history, to share this with the adopters via email.
  • Contact the breeder/individual/shelter/rescue group where you acquired your pet. They may be willing to take your pet back or assist you in finding him/her a new home.

Spreading the Word

  • Start with your circle: Post your pet on your own Facebook or Instagram accounts. Ask your friends, family and coworkers to help to spread the word and share on their social media pages too. Not on social media? Send an email or make phone calls and ask for support!
  • Sign your pet up on Rehome which may be a good place to connect with potential adopters. For small animals, try Rescue Me and Home-Home.
  • Got a purebred pet? Try breed rescues. If you have a purebred dog or cat you may be able to find a rescue organization that specializes in helping dogs or cats of that breed. You can search for breed rescues in your area by visiting http://www.petfinder.com/ and looking for dogs of a certain breed near your zip code. AKC has a webpage with a list of rescue organizations by breed and region which may be able to refer you to a local breed rescue group https://www.akc.org/akc-rescue-network/ Please be aware that many breed rescue groups only work directly with shelters and may not accept pet surrenders directly from owners.
  • Utilize local social media pages Local Facebook groups and community websites like NextDoor may be a place to find a neighbor looking for a pet like yours. Post a photo of your animal, a brief reason why you can no longer keep them, and what kind of home they would do best in.
  • Take a great photo of your pet. High quality, color photos of your pet will attract the interest of potential adopters.
  • Place signs at the Veterinarian’s Office, Pet Supply Store, Grooming Shops, Grocery Stores, Churches, Gym, School etc. Give copies to your friends and family and ask them to do the same. In your ad, include your contact information, a color photo, a description and if the pet is spayed or neutered.
  • Shelters and rescue organizations. You can contact adoption centers in your area and ask about their intake policies. Some shelters and rescue organizations will only take an animal if they know they can find it a home. Some shelters are overwhelmed with surrender requests and may have long waiting lists. They receive a large amount of calls each day, especially for surrendering older animals or animals with medical or behavioral issues. Time, politeness and patience is key. The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture has a list of approved animal adoption organizations

Screening Potential Adopters

  • Charge a small adoption fee. “Free to a good home” ads may attract people looking to turn a profit from your pet instead of providing them with a good home. Legitimate adopters will expect to pay something to acquire a new animal and should not be deterred by a modest fee.
  • Make a list of what you feel is important for your pet. Review the list and be realistic – no home will be perfect but you should come up with an idea of what type of home is best for your pet. Consider things such as access to veterinary care, basic needs, and emotional well-being. The potential adopter should be looking to make your pet a part of their family.
  • Have a conversation. Explain that you love your pet and want to find a permanent and happy place for them. Talk with them over the phone about their current and previous pets – this is a good way to gauge what kind of caretaker they are. Some ideas for what to ask people interested in your pet
    • How active is their lifestyle and household?
    • What kind of energy level are they looking for in their new pet?
    • What are some of their favorite qualities in a current or previous pet they have owned?
    • What is something they would change about a current or previous pet they have owned?
    • Do they currently have other pets?
    • Do they have children or do children frequently visit their home?
    • How often will the pet be left alone and where will the pet stay when they are home alone?
    • Where will the pet sleep at night?
    • What plans do they have for caring for the pet while they are away on vacation?
  • Pay a visit. Whenever possible, bring your animal to their home. It is a good idea to have potential adopters meet your pet and also for you to see their apartment or home in order to see the environment your pet will be living in and how they reacts.
  • Get ID information. Ask for a potential adopters name, address, phone number and make sure they can verify this information with a valid ID.
  • Check references. If they have a pet or have had one recently in the past – ask the name of their veterinarian and contact them.
  • Make a contract. Create a mutually agreed upon contract. You may want to include line items such as; Future veterinary care is the responsibility of the new owner, agreement to contact you first if the pet does not work out and they need to rehome them
  • Be willing to take your pet back if the placement does not work out. Don’t consider this a failure! If their first placement does not work out, this just gives you more information about what to look for in their next home.
  • Trust your instincts. If a person or situation does not seem right, it is up to you to make good decisions on behalf of your pet. It is ok to say “no” to a potential adopter.

Surrendering your Pet to the MSPCA

We ask that you fill out an online inquiry if you are interested in surrendering your pet to the MSPCA.