How To Rehome Your Pet

If you feel you need to rehome your pet due to behavioral issues, please see our section on behavior/training. Oftentimes, training is the perfect solution.

Stockton Animal Shelter only accepts owner surrendered animals when space allows, and sadly, SAS is often at maximum capacity. Any shelter setting, no matter how nice, can bring on stress-related problems. Anxiety, aggression, and even illness are common, and these natural reactions may make adoption difficult.  

Please utilize the following 11 Steps to Rehoming Success if you’ve determined that rehoming is the only solution:

  1. Prepare the animal for adoption. To increase the chances of finding a home and the success of the new placement, it is important that the pet is:
    – Spayed or neutered. Have your pet spayed or neutered if it isn’t already. Placing an animal who has not been spayed/neutered into a new home can result in unwanted litters, and neutered animals are less likely to show undesirable mating behaviors, such as mounting or howling. Puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed/neutered. For more information, talk to your veterinarian. If you need to find a source of low-cost spay/neuter surgery in your area, visit SPAYUSA.
    – In good health and up-to-date on vaccinations
    – Clean and groomed
    – House-trained and reasonably well-behaved
  2. Take photos. Photos and descriptions will help people make a connection to an animal. Take several good-quality photos of your pet. Write an ad that describes your pet’s personality, habits, and some of the little things that make them special. Be sure to tell about any disabilities, health issues or behavior quirks. Sometimes these are the things that potential adopters respond to. For some tips on how to write an appealing ad, read this article from Best Friends Animal Society: Pet Profiles: How to Write Animal Bios to Get Your Adoptables Into Homes.
  3. Make flyers. Flyers are inexpensive to produce and often highly effective, especially when they include a good photo and lively description. They work well for older animals or animals with special needs. At, you can combine a photo of your pet and the adoption ad into a flyer by following  simple instructions. You can save it as a digital file, then attach it to emails and use it for posting on social media websites, and printout hard copies for posting around town. Post the flyers throughout your community, wherever a good prospective adoptive person may see it. Health food stores, supermarkets, libraries, churches, health clubs, veterinarian’s offices, and sporting goods stores are just a few examples of good places to post flyers.
  4. Post on websites. Posting your photo and description of the animal on adoption websites is another effective way to find a new home. There are specific sites for certain types of animals (FIV+ cats, disabled pets, senior dogs, etc.) as well as general adoption websites, such as, and, and our friends at Petco Foundation. Petco 
  5. Post on social media. Include the flyer or information about your pet on social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram. Ask friends and family members to share. View a list of Facebook groups in the San Joaquin Area that will be helpful for lost & found and rehoming, or download the PDF to print.
  6. Narrow your field. To find a home for a dog of a particular breed or breed mix, look for a breed rescue group with whom you could list the dog. Search for “German Shepherd rescue” or “Pitbull rescue”, or whatever your dog’s breed is. 
  7. Contact all rescue groups and shelters in your area. Even if they can’t take your pet, some groups will offer courtesy postings on their websites, or allow you to bring the animal to one of their adoption events. Check out this article by Best Friends Animal Society and our List of Area Animal Shelters to find local rescue groups and shelters.
  8. Local rescue groups and shelters like Petfinder and World Animal Net may be helpful. 
  9. Word of mouth and community contacts. Don’t underestimate word of mouth. Tell anyone and everyone about the pet that needs a home and ask friends, co-workers and family members to help with spreading the word. You never know who might be looking for a pet. 
  10. Take your pet out! The more your pet is out and about, interacting with people, the more likely he’ll charm the right person. Take him on walks, to pet supply stores, to the local park. You can even put a colorful bandana on him that says “Adopt me”.

For more details on rehoming a pet, including what questions to ask prospective adopters, check out this resource from Best Friends Animal Society.

How to Report Abuse or Neglect

Please contact the Stockton Animal Shelter or Stockton Police Department. Animal Protection League is NOT an animal rights organization. Our mission is to support the Stockton Animal Shelter and the community it serves. We do not have the authority, or personnel to deal with animal abuse or neglect.