Home-to-Home Shelter Bypass Service Requirements

The Anti-Cruelty Society has developed the Home-to-Home Shelter Bypass Service to assist people who are looking to keep their pets out of the shelter system by re-homing them privately. Through this free service, The Anti-Cruelty Society creates a courtesy listing for these adoptable animals to include on our website and social media profiles. Please carefully read the information below for additional details about this program.

Before Enrolling a Pet

Thank you for choosing to accept the responsibility of re-homing your pet on your own and not exposing him or her to the stress of shelter life. While this is ultimately the better choice for your companion animal, personally re-homing an animal is a process that requires patience. We recommend following these basic tips to ensure re-homing success:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to find a new home for your pet, which requires posting the information and interviewing potential adopters, among other things. Prepare for all of this in advance, and don’t expect to be able to find a good home for your pet in just a few days, or even weeks.
  • Ask close friends and family members if they would be able to take your pet, or if they can vouch for someone who would be able to adopt the animal from you. Always start by talking to people that you trust and that know your pet!
  • Spread the word about your pet through your social circle, including social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • DO NOT use Craigslist or other anonymous listing websites to advertise your pet. Craigslist is often used for “flipping” pets to earn a profit, usually with little consideration or oversight into the kinds of homes that these animals end up in.
  • Consider charging a small fee for your pet. If you’re uncomfortable charging someone for the animal, explain the price as covering veterinary bills for vaccinations or spay/neuter surgeries for the pet. Attaching a price to your pet will help weed out some of the less serious potential adopters.
  • Reach out to breed-specific rescues if your pet is a pure-bred or highly sought after mix.
  • Use The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Behavior Helpline to get advice on how to correct behaviors that may make your pet more desirable for potential adopters. Issues may include house training, becoming more comfortable around other pets or children, etc. You can call the Helpline at (312) 644-8338, ext. 343.
  • Avoid relinquishment if you can. Please consider using The Anti-Cruelty Society (or another animal shelter) as a last resort.
  • DO NOT JUST ABANDON YOUR PETS! Pets are companion animals who can not survive on their own. Please do not “set them free” if you are unable to find them a new home.

Requirements

In order to use the Home-to-Home service to advertise your adoptable animal to our community of caring, the pet you are trying to re-home must meet the following requirements:

  • The animal is up-to-date on all recommended vaccines (i.e., rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus for dogs, or feline distemper and rabies for cats);
  • The animal is already spayed/neutered;
  • The animal is microchipped; and
  • The owner has written an extensive and honest personality profile for the animal that includes how the animal generally behaves around other pets, how the animal behaves around children, any past or existing health issues that the animal has had (including medication the animal is currently taking), the reason for giving up the animal, and the animal’s training history (especially if the animal is already housebroken or not).

You will need proof that your pet meets these requirements before your post is listed on our website.

Additional Services

We realize that circumstances arise and that not every pet owner will have animals that meet these requirements. Because of this, The Anti-Cruelty Society is willing to offer the following services to people interested in utilizing our personal re-homing courtesy post services:

  • General advice on screening potential adopters (which can include a copy or slightly altered version of the adoption applications that our shelter uses to screen potential adopters on-site)
  • Access to our low cost spay/neuter clinic
  • If you are unable to provide vaccinations or a spay/neuter procedure for your pet because of financial difficulties, you MAY qualify for discounted or free services through our Charity Clinic. Please contact us for more information at (312) 644-8338 ext. 350 or 351.

Program Enrollment

If your pet meets the criteria above and you are interested in enrolling them in this service, your next step should be to email our Community Programs Coordinator at education@anticruelty.org. We ask that you please include a photo of your pet and proof that the animal is spayed/neutered, up-to-date on required vaccinations, and microchipped (this must include the microchip number and name of the company that issued the chip). We also request a comprehensive personality profile about the animal that addresses at least the following topics:

  • Name;
  • Breed (for dogs);
  • Age;
  • Weight;
  • Sex;
  • Owner’s contact information (phone and email); and
  • A detailed personality profile that includes:
    • The animal’s behavior around other pets;
    • The animal’s behavior around children;
    • Any past or existing health issues that the animal has had;
    • Any medication the animal may currently be taking;
    • Any dietary restrictions that the animal may have;
    • The animal’s training history (especially whether or not the animal is housebroken); and
  • The owner’s reason for putting the animal up for adoption.

Note that The Anti-Cruelty Society reserves the right to deny any request for a courtesy post or to remove any existing posts at our discretion.

Thank you to our partners whose support makes our work possible