Team Cat Rescue receives many calls from people who for various reasons have a cat that they need help re-homing. We wish we could offer options for all the cats but unfortunately often our foster homes are full. We encourage everyone to talk to family, friends and loved ones at the time you are considering becoming a pet owner so there is a plan in place if you can no longer care for your pet. Include the plan in your legal documents as well.
If you find yourself at the point where you can no longer care for your pet we recommend that you draft an email/ “posting” that includes: Details of the cat’s history and temperament, what types of home would be the best match, vet care and health history, reason the pet needs a new home, details of what supplies may be included, any relevant time lines and your contact information. Include multiple pictures and videos where possible. Seek a suitable forever home but if time is of the essence see if anyone can foster the cat for you will the search is on.
Try rescues groups that have Owner Surrender programs like Toronto Cat Rescue. They will help network your pet while the pet remains with you.
Toronto Humane Society is an excellent option. They are low kill (i.e. won't kill for illness, age or space). They have an excellent track record for adoptions. If you do choose a shelter, please make sure that it is NOT a kill shelter. A reputable rescue group will let you know which shelters are high vs low kill.
Your own network can be an invaluable resource and we encourage you to take advantage. Send this email out to everyone you know asking them to read and share with everyone they know. Try email blasts to all co-workers, friends, and family, community groups, Facebook/Twitter and other social media. There are also advertising sites (free and fee for post) that may be worth trying. Be prepared to screen potential adopters to ensure it is the right fit for your pet. Some screening questions include but are not limited to: Are you seeking an indoor outdoor cat or indoor only? Are you planning to declaw or do you have an alternate plan for any concerns re claws? Have you had pets before/do you have others now? Who lives in the household (children)? Any potential cat allergies in the family? How long will cat be alone? Do you have financial resources to take on costs of pet? Do you have plan for cat care if you are away? What would happen if you can no longer keep the pet?
Send copies of the details to all area vet office, groomers, pet stores, community bulletin boards,
Use search engines to find rescue groups in your area including the petfinder (www.petfinder.com) and adoptapet (www.adoptapet.com) shelter search features, google, etc. Email all of them the posting of your pet and situation with a request for help to find a foster or forever home and give them permission to cross post. Rescues rely on donations and adoption fees to keep doing what they do so please consider what type of donation you (or perhaps your loved ones) could offer. A Registered Charity will be able to provide tax receipts. Most rescue groups are going to require the cat be fixed, up to date with vaccines or relatively recently assessed by a vet. Consult the group to see if this can be done at a reduced rate if necessary. Also, inform rescue group you are comfortable with them using their own standardized screening process and adoption fees.
When an option is found notify everyone so that they can remove the posting and steer potential resources to other cats in need.
NEVER post "free to good home". Abusers and dog fighters who need bait search for these ads. Don't think you would be able to recognize these people because you won't. Always get all the contact information for anyone looking to adopt your pet and even request to do a home visit.
PLEASE DO NOT ABANDON YOUR PET THINKING SOMEONE ELSE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT OR THAT IT WOULD BE ABLE TO FEND FOR ITSELF! Please consult your local shelter, vet or rescue for more details.