Homeward Pet | Home To Home Direct Adoption (2023)

What is it?

The Home To Home program is a unique, direct-to-adopter tool for pet owners that need to rehome an animal. In just a few simple steps, pets can find a loving new home without ever entering a shelter. It’s free to use for both pet owners and adopters, and it gives animals needing a new home the best of both worlds: their current owner can find the best fit, and their adopter can learn all about their personality and preferences firsthand. It’s a win-win for pets!

Home To Home was created by the Panhandle Animal Shelter in an effort to reduce the number of animals being relinquished to their shelter. They’ve shared this program with other shelters that want to do the same. Homeward Pet Adoption Center has joined this national program, now being utilized by shelters and rescues all over the United States.

The benefits!

  1. Less stress for the pet! Because these pets move directly to their new home, they never have to enter the shelter. Regardless of the facility or quality of care, a shelter is a strange and unfamiliar place for any pet.
  2. More space in the shelter! This allows us to use our limited shelter space and resources to take in animals that have no other options. We may be able to rescue more animals at risk of abuse or neglect, and pull animals from other shelters to avoid overcrowding and euthanasia.
  3. Adopters get more information! Owners are able to tell adopters all about their pet’s personality and preferences first hand. Adopters get to see the pet’s behavior in a more natural environment.
  4. We can help other animals! Although our shelter only houses cats and dogs, any species (as long as they are legal to own in Washington State) can be rehomed through Home To Home.

How much does it cost?

Home To Home is free to use for both owners and adopters, and no money should ever exchange hands. If you are offered money or asked to pay fees for any adoption or related activity, please contact us immediately.All rehoming submissions are reviewed by our shelter staff before being posted on the Home To Home site. This prevents any misuse of the program by anyone that may be breeding pets for profit.

How can I adopt a pet through Home To Home?

Through the Home To Home program, prospective adopters will contact the current pet owner directly to learn more about a pet they may be interested in. Because these pets are not in our shelter, they are not evaluated by our staff. We have no additional information about them, and we are unable to make any guarantees about their health, behavior, or temperament. Any agreement of adoption will be made solely between the owner and adopter. Compassion for both the animals and people in our community is one of the core values of Homeward Pet—we ask that you show respect and empathy when communicating with anyone using the Home To Home program.

If you are interested in adopting a pet through Home To Home, please visit homewardpet.home-home.org. There, you’ll be able to view all of the pets currently available for adoption in their current homes, and connect directly with their owners.

If you need some tips on what to consider and discuss with a pet owner, you’ll find some sample questions to start your conversation on the Home To Home national website.

How can I rehome my pet through Home To Home?

Rehoming your pet is a difficult decision and we understand you may find yourself in a situation where you feel that you have no other options. Before making that decision, please review our Pet Retention Resourcesfor assistance with many of the challenges that cause pets to be rehomed or surrendered. Whether you’re experiencing financial challenges, moving or housing issues, allergies, house soiling, behavioral issues, or one of many other challenges, we may be able to help you find a solution that allows you to keep your pet.

If you do need to rehome your pet through the Home To Home program, please visit homewardpet.home-home.org to get started.

(Video) Become a Homeward Pet Volunteer

Once your Home To Home profile is submitted, it will be reviewed by a member of our staff before posting on the Home To Home site. Below, you’ll also find some tools to help you navigate this process, and increase the likelihood of finding the right adopter for your pet.

Tips & Tools

Writing your pet's adoption profile

Your pet’s profile will be the first introduction to a potential adopter. Because they aren’t able to interact with them in person, you’ll need to find other ways to make a connection. Write about your pet’s personality – what do they love to do? What can an adopter look forward to doing with them? What are some of their cute quirks or unique attributes? You won’t be able to cover every aspect of your pet’s personality and needs in a quick introduction, but this is the time to grab the attention of an adopter that may be interested in your pet. You’ll want adopters to be aware of any special needs they might have (like medications, a special diet, or any behavioral or training needs), and when an interested adopter contacts you about your pet you’ll have the opportunity to discuss these needs in more detail.

For more tips on writing your pets adoption profile, check out the Home To Home national website.

Getting a good photo of your pet

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Your pet’s photo is the first thing people will see, and a good photo can be crucial to successfully finding an adopter. It may take some extra time, but be sure to get an eye-catching photo of your pet that will draw attention and get people to click on their profile. Take a photo in natural lighting to avoid the red-eye reflection that may result from your camera flash. Get down on your pet’s level to try and get eye contact with the camera. Pick a background that isn’t too distracting. And try to make it fun with treats or toys as a reward—people will be able to tell if your pet looks happy, and they may be more inclined to click on a happy dog or cat.

For more ideas, see this short video of ten tips to take better pet photographs.

Marketing your pet's profile

Some pets in the Home To Home program may be advertised on our Facebook page or other social media platforms to help expose them to more potential adopters. Those potential adopters will still contact the pet owner directly to learn more about the pet.

To reach a wider audience of prospective adopters, you may also consider utilizing other reputable pet rehoming websites in addition to Home To Home, such as rehome.adoptapet.com and getyourpet.com.

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Your personal network is another great opportunity to find a loving home for your pet. Share with friends and family - you may be surprised that you already know someone looking for a new pet! Your network can also help by sharing with their friends and family as well. You may also be able to promote your pet through people you know at work, school, or other social circles. Get the word out there!

Finding the right match

You know your pet’s needs better than anyone else, and by choosing the Home To Home program you’ve shown that you are very invested in their well-being. You can ask a potential adopter as many questions as you feel necessary to determine if your pet is a good fit for their home. Take some time to consider what your pet loves and needs most.

If you’re not sure what to discuss with a potential adopter, you’ll find some sample questions to start the conversation on the Home To Home national website.

Be prepared to answer questions from a potential adopter too—they will likely want to know as much as possible about your pet’s history—where you got them, how long you’ve had them, all about their personality, and about any medical and behavioral needs they have.

Meeting in person

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Always exercise caution and use common sense when meeting up with a person you don’t know. Bring a friend with you, and meet in a public place that feels safe to you—like a public park, or even outside of a police station.

Check out this list of Safe Trade Stations.

Creating an adoption agreement

Homeward Pet does not take ownership of any pets rehomed through the Home To Home program. All adoption agreements are made solely between the owner and adopter. We recommend that pet owners create an adoption agreement that covers basic information including the name and description of the pet, the names of both the owner and adopter, the agreement to transfer ownership, and what agreement is in place if the adopter is unable to keep the pet in the future. If there is an expectation or agreement that the adopter will remain in contact and provide updates on the pet, make sure that is detailed. Don’t forget to make a plan to transfer all previous veterinary records. Additionally, if the pet has a microchip, the agreement should also include the microchip number and company, as well as an agreement to contact the company to transfer the record of ownership. Both the owner and adopter should keep a copy of this agreement.

You can find a sample adoption agreement on the Home To Home national website.

(Video) Confiscate Cats

If you’re not sure which brand/company your pet is microchipped with, you can use the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup to find out where your pets chip is registered. If you are unsure of your pet’s microchip number, your veterinarian should be able to scan your pet and provide you with this number.

Homeward Pet | Home To Home Direct Adoption (1)


What is the least likely dog to get adopted? ›

Most experienced shelter workers will tell you that black dogs are often adopted less than any other coat color. Be it black Labrador Retrievers, Shepherds, Rottweilers, etc., they are often passed over by potential adopters. This discrepancy in adoptions is referred to as “Black Dog Syndrome.”

What is the busiest day for animal shelters? ›

July 5 is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters, as companion animals that fled in fright the night before are found miles from their homes, disoriented and exhausted.

How do I rehome my dog in Washington state? ›

How Rehoming Your Dog Works
  1. Create a Pet Profile. Onboard your pet on Rehome in about 10 minutes. ...
  2. Review Applications. Soon you will receive applications from interested adopters. ...
  3. Meet Adopters. We'll guide you through the process of setting safe and pressure-free meetings with potential adopters.
  4. Finalize Adoption.

What is the most neglected dog breed? ›

The Pit Bull is the most common dog breed (along with pit bull breed mixes) found in shelters in the United States. They are also the most abused, neglected, and the most euthanized.

How can you tell a fake dog website? ›

What are the Red Flags?
  1. No phone calls. The seller prefers to handle communication by email and not the phone. ...
  2. Copycat or stock photos. Photos of the dog or ad text can be found on multiple websites. ...
  3. Sketchy payment. ...
  4. Price is too good to be true. ...
  5. Breeder “badges.” AKC does not distribute badges to breeders.
24 Jan 2022

What is the most popular dog to adopt? ›

Top 10 Dog Breeds Most Commonly Found in Shelters
  • Jack Russell Terrier.
  • Pit Bull. ...
  • Boxer. ...
  • Dachshund. ...
  • German Shepherd. ...
  • Chihuahua. ...
  • Beagle. ...
  • Labrador Retriever. Yes that's right, the Labrador Retriever is America's most loved dog, but sadly it's also one of the dog breeds most commonly found in shelters all over the country. ...

What is the most common animal in shelters? ›

These are national estimates; the figures may vary from state to state. Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.

Why do so many pets end up in shelters? ›

Many animals are surrendered each year by their owners and end up in shelters or rescue. Sometimes, there are circumstances beyond one's control. An owner may become ill and is no longer able to care for their pet. Or the owner passes away, and there is no family member willing and/or able to care for their pet.

Do dogs get depressed in shelters? ›

Ultimately, emotional trauma may cause behavioral problems such as chronic fear, anxiety, depression or aggression. And if they remain in shelter care indefinitely, they may experience long-term emotional suffering.

Do you ever get over rehoming a dog? ›

The grief and guilt of rehoming a pet

You may feel like you'll never forgive yourself for this decision. Giving a pet up for rehoming is never easy and there are very few people who can do this without any misgivings. People who have lived through this experience often say that they still reflect on it years later.

Are dogs put to sleep if not adopted? ›

Occasionally, people from a local animal welfare group will camp out front, hoping to change your mind. No shelter, of course, can refuse an animal. But they can euthanize them - and often do, in a matter of days. Those days can be some of the most stressful, confusing and sad days of a dog's life.

Are dogs sad to be rehomed? ›

Extreme sadness

And they will be loyal until the end. What is this? A sudden break to this bond through rehoming can cause extreme sadness. You may notice that the dog sleeps most of the time, is unmotivated to play, and inattentive to his surroundings.

What is the easiest pet to adopt? ›

Here are our top 7 best low maintenance pets.
  1. Birds.
  2. Snakes. ...
  3. Sea Monkeys. ...
  4. Guinea pigs. ...
  5. Goldfish. Ahh, the goldfish. ...
  6. Cats. If you claim that you are not a “cat person”, have you ever tried owning a cat? ...
  7. Hamsters. Taking care of a hamster is easy once they have the proper cage. ...

What is the biggest mistake dog owners make? ›

Feeding New Dogs People Food Instead of Dog Food

This one is probably the mistakes dog owners make the most. Dogs need proper nutrition to live up to their full potential, and people food tends to be higher in fat and carbohydrates than canines can tolerate and stay healthy.

What is the most abused pet? ›

Cats are one of the most common animals to be abused and mistreated. It is estimated that every minute there is an animal being mistreated. State laws try to prevent this abuse and some areas of the U.S. are better than others.

Can you get scammed buying a dog online? ›

From January 1, 2021, to October 31, 2021, there were 3,000 puppy scams reported – 165% more puppy scams in the U.S. than during the same time period in pre-pandemic 2019. California reported 345 cases making it the #1 state with the most reported puppy scams.

Can you trust buying a dog online? ›

Don't Buy Online

Avoid internet purchases unless you can travel to meet the dog. According to the above study, dozens of sites have pets-for-sale listings, and 80% of them are scams. Reputable breeders typically have waiting lists and far more professional means for advertising.

How do you know if you're being scammed when buying a dog? ›

If the search returns a match on multiple websites, you're likely dealing with a scam. If possible, only buy a pet you can meet in-person before handing over money. If it's not possible to meet in person, ask the seller for video of them handling and playing with the pet. Be cautious of sellers offering pets for cheap.

What is the most popular dog breed 2022? ›

In 2021– 2022, there were an estimated 69 million American households with at least one dog. That's a lot of wagging tails! In terms of individual breeds, the Labrador Retriever is once again America's most popular dog.

What age are most dogs given up? ›

Characteristics of Pets Being Relinquished

In addition to the reasons for relinquishment, the study collected data on the pets being relinquished. According to the study: The majority of the surrendered dogs (47.7%) and cats (40.3%) were between 5 months and 3 years of age.

What dogs are the least cuddly? ›

10 dog breeds that do not enjoy cuddles
  • Afghan Hound.
  • Chow Chow.
  • Basenji.
  • Malamute.
  • Bloodhound.
  • Shar-pei.
  • Shiba Inu.
  • Scottish Terrier.
3 Nov 2021

Is dog adoption regret normal? ›

It's normal — especially for first-timers — to feel a bit overwhelmed. If you're questioning your decision or wondering how to cope with feelings of anxiety, regret, or guilt, please understand that these feelings are quite common and they almost always pass with a bit of time.

What state euthanized the most animals? ›

And, according to the cat and dog euthanasia rates by state, almost all are in the South. Texas tops the list with around 125,000 animals killed in shelters. California is second with 110,000, followed by Florida with 66,000, and North Carolina with 62,000 euthanized animals.

What happens to dogs that don't get bought at pet stores? ›

Eventually, puppies are marked down to the price the store paid the puppy mill broker — usually a few hundred dollars. If the puppy still doesn't sell, stores will often cut their losses and give puppies away to employees, friends or rescue groups.

What is the second most euthanized dog breed? ›

You may be surprised that Chihuahuas are actually the second most euthanized breed.

Why do homeless keep dogs? ›

Homeless pet owners use their pets to facilitate socialization, getting their owners out to local vet clinics and parks where they interact with other pet owners. Many homeless pet owners regard their pet with a high degree of attachment and report lower levels of loneliness with pet ownership.

What age are dogs most likely to be rehomed? ›

There is a reason why the most common age for dogs being given to rescue centres to be rehomed is between 6-18 months old, and this is because canine adolescence can be a tricky time.

Why do dogs stay with homeless people? ›

For homeless people, their pet is the main source of support for a number of reasons: the possibility of sharing their time and doing things together; the constant presence of the dog, which helps to combat feelings of loneliness; its ability to become a confidant, establishing a relationship of trust and affection; ...

What happens to dogs who don't get adopted? ›

If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed, it may get a stay of execution, though not for long.

Do dogs feel love? ›

Science proves that part of the canine brain is associated with positive emotions and they do, indeed, feel love for their human companions.

How long do shelter dogs take to adjust? ›

It is normal for it to take some time for rescue dogs to adjust to their new homes. You should expect it to be challenging for the first week or so. However, you'll start to see major progress after three weeks, and they will probably be fully settled in after three months.

How do you say goodbye to a dog when rehoming? ›

Say goodbye.

Be happy that your dog will have a good new family. Hug the dog and be confident that you have done the right thing. Let the dog take its treats, toys, dog bed, and any other possessions you bought the dog to its new home so that it will make the transition a bit easier on your pup.

How do rehomed dogs feel at home? ›

So keep things as quiet and consistent as possible for the first week or more. Feed and walk your dog, and come and go from work around the same times each day. When you do leave home, consider leaving your dog with an enrichment item, such as a stuffed treat toy or puzzle food bowl.

Should I feel guilty for rehoming my dog? ›

You do not need to feel guilty about rehoming your dog is you have already exhausted all your other options. If you've worked with a trainer, discussed issues with your vet, and have sought advice from certified behavior consultants then you've really done everything you possible could have.

Do dogs know they are being euthanized? ›

Dogs do not know they are being put to sleep, but they can react to underlying pain when being handled by the vet, sense nervous energy, react to the injection, involuntarily vocalize, or have muscle spasms.

Do dogs ever wake up from euthanasia? ›

It may take a minute or two for the heart to stop. The doctor will listen carefully to your pet's heart to ensure it has stopped before pronouncing him or her gone. After that, there is no danger of your pet waking up. This is a very common fear for pet owners.

How long does a dog stay in a pound before put to sleep? ›

Holding period laws are state requirements that determine how long an impounded animal must be “held” before it is able to be released or euthanized. Typically, these laws give owners anywhere between three and ten days to redeem the animal before the animal can be placed for adoption, sold, or euthanized.

Should you rename an adopted dog? ›

I feel like 99 percent of the time it's completely okay to rename your pet,” says Thomas. “It's a fresh start for you and them, and it can be a bonding experience.” Gilbreath agrees, especially when it comes to kittens and puppies who have only had their shelter name for a few days or weeks.

How traumatic is it for a dog to change owners? ›

In actuality, re-homing is always a stressful and traumatic experience for dogs. It's not difficult for canines to undergo anxiety and depression if the previous environment was a happy one. These dogs will actually miss their previous owner and they wish to undergo the sadness.

How do dogs choose their favorite person? ›

Dogs choose their favorite people based on positive interactions and socialization they have shared in the past. Like humans, dogs are especially impressionable as their brains develop, so puppies up to 6 months old are in their key socialization period.

What dog takes the least amount of care? ›

Low-Maintenance Dogs
  1. Dachshund. While originally bred to be hunting dogs, Dachshunds have since grown to be the perfect lap dog. ...
  2. Pug. You can count on these curly-tailed lapdogs to be low maintenance, as most of them prefer not to exercise. ...
  3. Bullmastiff. ...
  4. Chihuahua. ...
  5. Shiba Inu. ...
  6. Greyhound. ...
  7. Basset Hound. ...
  8. Whippet.
20 Oct 2022

What is the least living dog breed? ›

Flat-faced dog breeds, including French Bulldogs and Pugs, have the shortest life expectancy, a new study has found. According to vets at the Royal Veterinary College, brachycephalic dogs don't live as long due to the increased risk of breathing problems, skin fold infections and spinal disease they face.

What is the least problematic dog breed? ›

9 Dog Breeds With The Least Health Issues
  1. BELGIAN MALINOIS. These extremely loyal companions get high praise for their work ethic.
  2. CHIHUAHUA. ...

What type of dog can be left alone during the day? ›

Dog breeds that can be left alone for long periods include Labrador and Golden Retriever, Beagle, Peekapoo, or Shiba Inu. Naturally, by long-term periods, it's implied that the period is up to 8 hours a day and not more.

Why do dogs stare at walls? ›

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and seizures are the more common medical reasons why dogs stare at walls, but there are some other possibilities. Staring could be a compulsive behavior, rather like compulsive disorders in people.

Is there only 1 species of dog? ›

But among dogs, which are well known for their hybrid (or mongrel) varieties, different breeds can mate and have viable offspring, so they are all found under the umbrella of a single species, Canis familiaris.

What is the most adopted pet? ›

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world; they're also the most adopted. It's because they are highly social dogs that tend to get along well with almost anyone, kids and pets included!
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15 Apr 2020

What is the number one easiest pet to take care of? ›

Hamsters, guinea pigs, and fish are all pets that are easy to take care of for cheap. Hamsters and guinea pigs require a little food, water, and a few minutes of playtime daily. Fish require only a small tank with regular water changes and can be left alone for extended periods without needing attention.

What is the least common pet in Adopt Me? ›

What is the rarest pet in Adopt Me? The Monkey King. It features red and gold armor, a feathered crown, and a staff for a tail.

What is the most selfish dog breed? ›

10 Times the Japanese Akita Inu Proved They're the Most Selfish Dog Breed. Few dogs have amassed such a dedicated crowd of fans as the Japanese Akita Inu. But, frankly, the Akita Inu doesn't care about their devotees—all they care about is themselves, as these 9 images will prove.

How do dogs know not to bite you? ›

Bite inhibition is typically learned as part of juvenile play behaviors, when the animal is still in the company of its mother and siblings: by biting each other during play, the young animals learn that biting a companion too strongly leads to the abrupt termination of play activities.


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