To re-home a dog in crisis.
Excruciating decisions. The lack of dog-friendly housing is one of the most common reasons pit bulls end up in shelters. Using online sites such as Craigslist, Nextdoor or Adoptapet responsibly to locate new adopters has been a big help to desperate families as well as Good Samaritans. Some examples from our corners:
"I’d like to thank you for writing the article on how to use Craigslist re-home a dog. My story is a long one but I’ll shorten it up for you. Essentially, we found a beautiful Pit/lab who was lost, twice, by the same individual. After the first incident, I had him microchipped and gave my contact info for the chip. Luckily, I got him back safe and sound. I was determined to find him a forever home after placing him in a great foster situation.
Since I had never done this before I searched online and found your article and website. I followed your instructions to the “T” and wrote a detailed 5-paragraph, loving story about the dog. I used this descriptive title: “Extremely Lovable Pit/Lab 2-Year-old neutered trained dog needs a home”. We used 6 fun photos—his visit to the beach, playing with another dog, rolling in the grass and chilling in the sun.
Within two days I began receiving emails. The foster dad and I spoke to the interested parties, answered questions and set up meet and greets. Finally, we met a couple who seemed like a true match. They sent us pics of their son, home, and cat. They drove down to meet us and we decided to let them take him home for 7 days to see if he would acclimate to the new surroundings. Our original intention was to do the home visit before we let him go with the people but they live 1.5 hours away from us and it would have been difficult. We took photos of their ID’s and license plate to be sure they were legit and easily found. We stayed in touch during that week and I followed it up with a home visit last weekend. The dog seems completely happy, healthy and comfortable.
My anxiety has lessened. I feel attached to that dog and will continue sending his favorite dental chews and supplemental freeze-dried food for as long as I can. His new parents feed him kibble and although it’s not my favorite, I am so happy that he’s safe now and in good hands. I cannot thank you enough for giving us guidelines to help us through this experience." - Sincerely, Shelley C.
Below: The original article that helped Shelley.
Despite this family's hard work to find a safe rental that would accept their dog Kima, they were forced to give her up. No blame. They did everything right. Their Craigslist ad made all the difference and their dog found a new home. What did they do right?
Timing: They didn't wait until the very last minute to find help.
Photos: They piled on the photos of Kima living as a family member in their ad, including images of her enjoying the children.
Personality: They described her history, her personality, her likes and dislikes - and they helped us see that she was well loved and well socialized to both people and other dogs.
Health: They had already spayed her and she was up to date on her vaccinations (The most responsible adopters prefer spayed/neutered dogs.)
Flexibility: They rearranged their schedule for a meet-n-greet, and brought her to a training class so the new home could take her for a little test drive (Responsible homes welcome the idea of training support).
Thoughtful Decision: They spent time getting acquainted with the new family and watched them together to see if the match was right.
Satisfied that the match was right, they said painful good-byes but stay in contact with the new home and, one year later, still enjoy photos and updates of Kima in her new life.
As hard as it was to let her go, Kima was able to avoid the high volume shelter where she was headed, and the family now knows their girl is in good hands. We can't fix the housing crisis, but with some work, we can all work to prevent more dogs from ending up in the shelter, starting with socializing dogs as much as possible and reaching out to our community via Craigslist and facebook when we need help.