Euthanasia is declining in Alachua County but despite local rescue groups’ intense efforts, hundreds of dogs and cats are still put down at ACAS each year.
Shelters should be your last resort
Alachua County Animal Services (ACAS) is Alachua County’s only open-admission shelter and they DO euthanize for space. While not restricted from accepting animals from the public, local rescue groups like Alachua County Humane Society, Helping Hands Pet Rescue, Puppy Hill Farm Animal Rescue, Gainesville Pet Rescue, Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue, etc. focus their efforts on saving animals from the county shelter.
Shelters and rescue groups can be stressful places for pets and many don’t show their true personalities in such situations. Also, a shelter environment can expose pets to common infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections. Older pets, young puppies and kittens, and unvaccinated pets are at the most risk for getting sick in a shelter.
For all of these reasons, and more, shelters should always be considered a last resort, a place to turn when you’ve exhausted your alternatives for safer and less stressful placements. We provide this rehoming guide and Alachua County rescue resources as alternatives.
Get your pet ready for rehoming
Make sure your pet has had a visit with a veterinarian
Take your pet to a veterinarian for a check-up and make sure they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations. A healthy pet will be easier to place. If your pet is not current on vaccines and you can’t afford a vet visit, low-cost vaccine clinics like those at Pet Supermarket may be a good option.
- Pet Supermarket: www.petsupermarket.com/static/instore_vacc.aspx
Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered
An unsterilized pet is less desirable (due to unwanted mating behaviors like roaming, mounting, howling and caterwauling) AND can produce unwanted litters, compounding the problem of too many homeless pets. Puppies and kittens can be spayed or neutered at eight weeks of age. Operation PetSnip provides low-cost spay-neuter for pets. If you cannot afford the cost of surgery at Operation PetSnip, please ask them about grants that provide FREE spay-neuter for those with financial need. Other spay-neuter resources can be found at Spay/Neuter Florida.
- Operation PetSnip: www.nmhp.net/OperationPetSnip/tabid/142/Default.aspx
- Spay/Neuter Florida: www.flaspay.com
Take several photos of your pet
Make sure your pet is well-groomed, is looking at the camera, and can be seen clearly in the photos. If you don’t have a digital camera, use a cell phone camera or whatever you have available. If you need to scan printed pictures and don’t have access to a scanner, let us know. We’ll be happy to scan them for you!
Write a unique and inspiring adoption advertisement
For some expert advice on writing an appealing ad, follow the tips in How to Write Pet Profiles, courtesy of the Best Friends Animal Society Resource Library, and you’ll be sure to get people’s attention.
- Best Friends Animal Society: www.bestfriends.org/uploadedFiles/Content/Resources/adoptionblurbs.pdf
Create a nice flyer
You can create a flyer with your pet’s photo and the adoption ad you’ve written at PetBond.com. Save the flyer in digital format for emailing, social media, and websites or print it to post on bulletin boards or give to individuals and groups that may be interested in adopting your pet or assisting with placement.
- PetBond.com: www.petbond.com/flyerentry.php
Get the word out
Post your flyer or ad online
Classifieds on Craigslist, Petfinder, PetBond.com and social media sites like Facebook are a good place to start. Ask friends and family members to share your posts on their social networks too so that your pet gets more exposure.
Some people hesitate to post publicly and to a broad audience because they worry about the quality of potential adopters that might respond. You are in control of who adopts your pet and you can do just as good of a job screening a potential adopter as a shelter or rescue group, maybe even better!
Don’t be afraid to ask for a veterinarian or personal/professional reference and follow up with them.
- Craigslist: gainesville.craigslist.org/pet/
- Petfinder: www.petfinder.com
- PetBond.com: www.petbond.com
Put up flyers around town
Post your flyer at work, church, school, veterinarian’s offices, coffee shops, grocery stores, feed stores, public libraries, and any other places around town where there’s a bulletin board.
Contact all local rescue groups and shelters
Even if they can’t take your pet, some groups will offer courtesy postings on their websites, or allow your pet to attend adoption events if you are willing to continue to foster the pet until it is adopted. If you have a purebred cat or dog, consider contacting breed-specific rescues within your region. Sometimes rare-breed rescues will arrange transport for animals based on if they have homes waiting for available animals.
For more information on screening potential adopters and more ideas to help you rehome your pet, read How to Find Homes for Homeless Pets, courtesy of the Best Friends Animal Society Resource Library.
- Best Friends Animal Society Resource Library: www.bestfriends.org/uploadedFiles/Content/Resources/Resources_for_Rescuers/Adoption/HowtoFindHomesforHomelessPets.pdf
No-Kill rescue groups and shelters
For national listings of shelters and rescue groups go to Petfinder.com. Be wary of any groups that do not offer adoptions or any groups that keep animals in sanctuaries for life. Providing quality lifetime veterinary care for a pet is very expensive and many sanctuary operations are not sustainable.
- Petfinder: www.petfinder.com/shelters.html
Alachua County Area No-Kill Rescues/Shelters
Alachua County Humane Society
4205 NW 6th Street
Gainesville FL 32609
Animal People, Inc.
PO Box 140014
Gainesville, FL, 32614
Gainesville Pet Rescue
5403 SW Archer Rd
Gainesville FL 32608
Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue
5231 SW 91 Drive
Gainesville FL 32608
Helping Hands Pet Rescue, Inc.
PO Box 484
Micanopy FL 32667-0484
Phoenix Animal Rescue
PO Box 238
Newberry FL, 32669
Puppy Hill Farm Animal Rescue
PO Box 1743
Melrose FL 32666
SPCA of North Florida
PO Box 358491
Gainesville FL 32635
352-473-8276 or 352-339-3352