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Pet relinquishment and surrender prevention

Many animals surrendered to shelters are given up due to solvable behavior issues or lack of housing. These tools can help you keep more pets in homes and make pet care, behavior and wellness resources and other information more accessible to pet owners and potential adopters.

  • Rethinking returns

    It’s a scenario longtime rescuers have nightmares about, and yet we rarely see it coming: One day, seemingly out of the blue, you get the email message: “URGENT! I need to return Fido to you this weekend!”

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Pet relinquishment and surrender prevention

  • Magazine Article

    All Pawgwarts houses are equal

    Shelter director explains the power of magical thinking

    When the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando in Florida started “sorting” homeless dogs and cats by “Pawgwarts” house, rather than by breed, it led to an explosion of media coverage, shelter visitors and website traffic. But the Harry Potter-inspired idea isn’t just about sorting hats and spells: It’s a way to get people to stop and rethink what “breed” really means.

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  • Magazine Article

    The dark side of the coop

    For shelters and rescues taking in chickens, the quest for backyard eggs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

    "We have three chickens,” reads the email, one of many that routinely land in Mary Britton Clouse’s inbox. “Somehow they all got frostbitten when they were a couple months old. One is missing every claw, one is missing feet, and [one] is missing feet and shanks. We were wondering if you guys could take them in.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Shedding a heavy burden

    Hidey lost 2 pounds of fur during the haircut of a lifetime.

    Hidey loses her locks and comes out of her shell.

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  • Magazine Article

    Getting by with a little help … from your pet

    Federal laws regarding assistance animals can boost your efforts to keep pets in homes

    The stories all pretty much follow the same pattern: Resident has dog for years. Resident relies on the dog just to get through the day; maybe, due to depression, the dog is the only reason to get out of bed in the morning, or maybe walking the dog helps with heart disease problems. Resident is suddenly told dogs aren’t allowed in the building—give her up or get out. Heartbroken resident brings dog to shelter.

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  • Blog Post

    When a bad story gets in the way of the facts

    Beware of confirmation bias when trying to figure out “the truth”

    More than a decade ago, at an animal shelter in southern Virginia, I witnessed a well-to-do woman surrendering her pet because, she said, he didn’t match her new décor.

    The moment ate at me, and continues to every now and then—but for different reasons than it did at the time.

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  • HSUS Program

    Help pet owners work with veterinarians

    No one wants to see a pet separated from their family simply because medical expenses are out of reach

    While the HSUS is working to improve access to veterinary care for families in need, there are resources available to share with your community. Many pet owners in crisis may turn to your organization for help and while you may not be able to provide veterinary services directly to them, you can increase the odds they will find a veterinarian to help them by making the following suggestions:

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