What Do I Do with an Animal I Can’t Take Care Of?

For many of us, pets are cherished members of our families, offering companionship, love, and joy. However, there may come a time when circumstances change, and we find ourselves unable to provide the care and attention our pets deserve. 

It’s a heartbreaking situation, but there are compassionate and responsible steps you can take to ensure the well-being of your furry friend. 

In this guide, we’ll explore various options available to you when faced with the difficult question, “What do I do with an animal I can’t take care of?”

Assessing Your Situation

Before making any decisions, it’s crucial to take a step back and assess your situation. Consider the reasons why you can’t continue caring for your pet. 

Is it due to financial constraints, changes in living arrangements, health issues, or other factors? Understanding the root cause will help guide your decision-making process.


Finding a New Loving Home

One of the most common options is to rehome your pet. Reach out to family members, friends, or acquaintances who may be interested in adopting your pet. Ensure that the potential new owners are genuinely interested in providing a loving and responsible home.

Animal Shelters and Rescue Organizations

Local animal shelters and rescue organizations can also be an option. These organizations work tirelessly to find suitable homes for animals in need. Before surrendering your pet, research reputable shelters and ensure they have a no-kill policy if possible.

See also  Can a dog overdose on dog wormer?

Online Adoption Platforms

Numerous online platforms connect pet owners with potential adopters. Websites like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet allow you to create profiles for your pet, including photos and descriptions. Make sure to thoroughly vet potential adopters and arrange a meet-and-greet before finalizing the adoption.

Foster Care

If rehoming is not an immediate option, consider placing your pet in a temporary foster home. Foster care provides your pet with a safe and nurturing environment while you work on resolving the situation that prevents you from caring for them.

Working with Animal Welfare Organizations

Financial Assistance

If financial constraints are the main issue, some animal welfare organizations offer financial assistance for veterinary bills, pet food, and other expenses. Reach out to local and national organizations to inquire about available resources.

Behavior and Training Assistance

In some cases, behavioral issues may be the reason you’re struggling to care for your pet. Seek guidance from animal behaviorists and trainers who can provide valuable advice to address these concerns.

Exploring Alternatives

Pet-Friendly Housing Options

If housing is the primary concern, consider exploring pet-friendly housing options. Some landlords or housing communities may be more accommodating to pets, enabling you to keep your furry friend by your side.

Temporary Arrangements

If your inability to care for your pet is a temporary situation, look into short-term arrangements. Friends, family, or even pet-sitting services can help bridge the gap until you’re able to resume care.

Making the Transition Easier

No matter which option you choose, it’s essential to prioritize your pet’s well-being during this transition.

See also  How to Make Your Carpet Dog-Proof? Fast and Easy Tips

Provide Information

When rehoming your pet, provide potential adopters with as much information as possible. This includes details about your pet’s personality, health history, likes, and dislikes. This information will help the new owners understand and care for your pet better.

Familiar Objects

If you’re rehoming your pet, send them off with familiar toys, bedding, and items that carry your scent. This can provide comfort during the adjustment period.

Stay Involved

Stay in touch with the new owners if possible, especially during the initial period. It can be reassuring to know how your pet is adjusting to their new home.

The Emotional Impact

Parting with a beloved pet is emotionally challenging. Don’t hesitate to seek emotional support from friends, family, or even a professional counselor. Remember that your decision is ultimately driven by a desire to ensure the best possible life for your pet.


Deciding what to do with a pet you can’t take care of is a difficult decision that requires careful consideration and compassion. Whether you choose to rehome, place your pet in foster care, or explore other options, prioritizing your pet’s well-being is paramount.

 Remember, seeking assistance from animal welfare organizations and staying connected with your pet’s new home can make the transition smoother for both you and your furry companion. 

In the end, making the responsible choice demonstrates your love for your pet and their happiness.