Finding a New Home for Your Pet

Thank you for caring enough to contact Vision Hills Sanctuary and making the effort to secure your pet's future. Due to the overwhelming number of unwanted animals surrendered to local shelters, we are committed to rescuing and fostering those animals who risk being euthanized. Consequently, our foster homes are full at this time.

Although Vision Hills is unable to take your pet directly into foster care, we hope to make you aware of what your options are with regards to finding a loving and caring home for your pet.

Option 1: Keep your pet

Vision Hills and other rescue groups are committed to providing the necessary information to pet owners so that they can provide the very best care for their pet. There are many reasons why individuals are not able to keep their pets. If you feel your pet's behavior is the problem, please let us know. Often, with a little information or advice from experienced pet owners, the problem(s) can be alleviated or overcome altogether. Many behavioral problems are corrected with spaying or neutering. Additionally, we can provide you with a wide range of referrals depending on what your specific question or problem may be.

Option 2: Be your own foster

Continue to care for your pet until you find the right home via advertising (see information below).

Option 3: Surrender your pet to a shelter

While many people have differing opinions on this option, it remains a viable one for many others. The Town Lake Animal Shelter in Austin (1156 W. Cesar Chavez, 972-4738) will accept any animal, the Humane Society of Williamson County  (10930 Crystal Falls Parkway, Leander, 260-3602) will accept dogs and cats, the Austin SPCA (124 W. Anderson Lane, 646-7387) may accept animals only by appointment. Please keep in mind that while every rescue group does its very best to rescue all animals, every animal surrendered to a shelter does risk being euthanized. It is not our intent to mislead or misinform you on the realities of pet overpopulation. Simply stated, there are many more wonderful animals than there are loving, caring, permanent homes.

Please do not release your pet to the wild to suffer injury, starvation, or death.  Domestic animals do not have the same instincts as wild animals.  We receive calls all the time from individuals who have found, stray, injured, or malnourished animals.

Preparing the pet for his/her new home

The following is information which we feel is necessary to find your pet a good home and which also closely follows our organization's policies regarding adoptions. There are two major steps to finding homes for animals. The first is to prepare your pet for adoption. The second is to advertise and screen callers for suitability.

If you have not already made them, these are the preparations:

  • Spaying/Neutering for health and behavior reasons
    It improves the chance of being adopted as an indoor companion (so that your pet will enjoy a life that is safe and social). Unneutered animals tend to "mark territory" and are prone to cancer. It also insures that no more unwanted animals will be produced. Most veterinarians can spay/neuter dogs and cats; these veterinary clinics routinely spay/neuter rabbits and are very experienced: White Rock Veterinary Hospital, 2700 W. Pecan St., Pflugerville, 670-5400, and Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital, 4601 S. Lamar, 892-4463. 
  • Litterbox training (for cats and rabbits)/Housebreaking (for dogs)
    If you need information on how to housebreak a dog, there are a number of good books, videos and websites on how to accomplish this.  Cats prefer their litterbox is a semi-private location, and will use it unless their are health or behavioral issues.  For rabbit litterbox training, click here.
  • Socializing
    Spend some social time with your pet, petting, sitting on the floor. Being used to people will make your pet more appealing.
  • Know your pet
    Understand your pet's health status and personality so that you can tell an interested person what to expect. 

Advertising and Screening Callers

Place ads in local newspapers such as the Austin American-Statesman (445-4000 or online) in category Pets and Livestock or the the Austin Chronicle (454-5767 or online). Flyers can be placed on veterinary, pet supply, supermarket or restaurant bulletin boards.  You can also post on Craigslist for free in the Pets category. 

  • State your pet's strong points: spayed/neutered, house trained, friendly, good with children, etc.
  • Requesting a $25 or more fee in the ad excludes callers wanting a free animal for the wrong reasons (examples: research, backyard breeding). People willing to commit to giving a pet a home will readily pay a fee. Consider offering your animal and his/her food, leashes, litterboxes, cage, etc. as a "package deal."
  • To screen people who answer your ad, ask the caller questions about their previous pets (what happened to them), current pets, why (s)he has decided to get a pet, and the type of living arrangement the caller would provide. Explain that you are asking questions because you want the person and the animal to be happy.
  • Say no if you feel the home is not suitable - make an excuse. Politely tell the caller that your pet doesn't do well with children (if your children became uninterested in the pet, tell the caller why), isn't used to being outside, is scared of dogs, etc.

It is possible to find a good home for your pet, but it takes time, commitment, and some expense. Should you find a home for your pet, please pass on the above-mentioned care and information to the animal's new owner so that (s)he will have some basic information. Also, we would appreciate your referring any additional callers to us or other rescue groups. There are many more wonderful animals seeking homes. We hope you find this information useful. Good luck placing your pet.