The number one reason people surrender their pets to an animal shelter is because their living situation has changed, and they think there’s nothing else they can do.
Now, the Auburn Valley Humane Society has an interactive tool for families in the Auburn and King and Pierce counties area facing that very dilemma.
The site, avhs.home-home.org, givesowners who can’t keep their pets any longer a shot at finding them new, loving homes without surrendering them. Pets can go from one home right into another, which means less stress for animals and people. This means potential new owners can communicate directly with the current owners, providing firsthand information about the animals.
Call it a re-homing website. All one has to do is fill out a brief form, upload a picture and hit submit. People looking for a pet will find a search feature.
Home To Home is free to use; however, there are rules, such as no money is allowed to exchange hands.
“There has been a steady increase in owner surrenders over the past year,” said Jackie Beatty, AVHS animal welfare coordinator. “We see the immense stress people are under when they need to surrender their dogs or cats to us. And as much as we like to think our shelter is a happy place, it isn’t a home and can be stressful for the animals.
“A perfect opportunity to use the Home to Home tool would be within the time frame of finding out relocation is necessary and the actual moving date. If the pet isn’t re-homed before the moving deadline, he or she can be brought to us or another area shelter,” Beatty said.
Shelter personnel monitor the site to ensure that people follow the rules, and pet postings are promoted on AVHS’ Facebook page to kick up interest. Staff intervene as necessary to help or to offer advice.
Not only will this tool make transitions into new homes easier for pets, Beatty said, but it will also leave more shelter resources available to animals with no other options, such as strays and the neglected or abused. While re-homing pets through this tool will alleviate the need for some pets to be surrendered to the shelter, it won’t be suitable for all re-homing needs. As always, animals may be surrendered directly to the AVHS shelter as an owner surrender for a service fee.
Generous support from a Maddie’s FundGrant, #ThankstoMaddie, makes the shelter’s participation in Home To Home possible. The shelter’s share of the Maddie’s Fund Grant covers the cost of its own Home To Home branded website, and a year of web hosting.
Home To Home™ is a national program that is used among shelters and rescues across the United States. To visit the Home To Home network’s master page go to home-home.org or to learn more about Auburn Valley Humane Society Animal Shelter go to avhs.home-home.org or Facebook.com/AuburnValleyHS/. AVHS Animal Shelter’sHome To Home site is avhs.home-home.org.