If only we lived in an ideal world where every aspect of our lives ran smoothly and to plan. This is, however, unrealistic, and the truth of the matter is that sometimes things go wrong.

Sometimes things happen that are simply out of our control which can make it difficult to keep our beloved pets with us. Pet owners who experience changing or unforeseen circumstances need somewhere to turn to if it comes to the point of having to relinquish their pets and find them a new family.

There are many reasons why someone may need to surrender a pet and every case has its own set of peculiarities. Regardless of your circumstances, please explore all of the possibilities before you resort to giving your pet away.

Some suggestions of things to try to assist with keeping your pet in their home include:

- If you have concerns about your pet’s behaviour you could try speaking to an animal trainer for guidance. Find out more about our behavioural services here.

- If you are having trouble affording expensive veterinary care for your pet, have you spoken to your vet about a payment plan or contacted a non-profit/low-cost veterinary clinic? Find out more about our low-cost Community Animal Hospital services here.

- Are you in crisis and need help with some short-term emergency boarding for your pet while you sort out your situation? Try speaking to family and friends to see if they could help look after your pet temporarily. You can also contact your local council about local emergency pet boarding options or check out our Safe House For Pets program here.

- Are you concerned about renting with pets? New laws on pets and renting came into effect on 2 March 2020. Tenants must now request their landlord’s consent to bring a new pet into the property. Landlords must not unreasonably refuse and must take their case to VCAT if they want to refuse. It does not matter when your lease started. For more information visit the Consumer Affairs Website.

If you feel that rehoming your pet is the best decision given your circumstances:

- Is there a friend or family member who would consider taking your pet in to their home permanently?

- If you adopted your pet from a rescue organisation, have you contacted them to see if they would be willing to take the pet back and find them a new home?

In some cases, severe behavioural issues can make it very difficult for us to take in relinquished pets. Often the reasons they are relinquished are the same reasons that we can’t rehome them safely into the community. Reoccurring escapism, anti-social behaviour, severe aggression/reactivity and severe anxiety are some behaviour problems that can prove tremendously difficult for an average family to deal with.

Second Chance Animal Rescue Inc. is a not-for-profit rescue organisation that will always do our best to help a pet (and owner) in need; if we cannot help by taking your pet into our care, we will suggest options to aid you in your quest to rehome your pet safely. It is a common misconception that we recover our costs by charging an adoption fee; this is very rarely the case, as most animals that come into our care require in-depth assessment, some sort of veterinary care, behavioural training, or other welfare-related requirements to be taken care of before they are ready for their new homes. We ask for a surrender fee from owners who need to relinquish their pets to us to help us cover some of these costs. We take pride in the lengths we go to, to ensure each individual animal is given the best possible chance of finding a new, loving home. Many hours are put into not only the assessment and required rehabilitation that is necessary, but also the suitable matching of our pets and prospective adoptive families.

If you would like some more information about our surrender process, or would like to talk to someone about possible options that are available to avoid having to surrender your pet, please contact us on 03) 9357 0834 (option 2) or email us at surrender@secondchanceanimalrescue.com.au.

If you have decided that surrendering your pet is the best option in your situation, please fill out the Animal Surrender Form with as much information as possible. Our shelter team will then be in touch as soon as they can with more information.