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Rehoming: How to do it right & make it through the process??

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

  
Millie

1233736
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 8:01pm PST 
Hello Dogster,

I need some tips for rehoming a dog. My Story: One of our friends asked us to dogsit his Bull Mastiff while he was looking for a new place to live (had to move out of a bad situation and stay with his GF who couldn't have dogs), we agreed to keep his dog for a couple weeks because we are allowed to have dogs at our place and Millie (our dog) and Grendel (friend's dog) got along well. He made many promises of coming to walk/visit the dog as well as clean up and reimburse us for food, etc. That was in May; since then he has been to our house twice and given us $50 for food. In September, we started calling him to make sure everything was okay and to stress that he really needed to keep up his end of the bargain. We got no response whatsoever. Obviously, I began to be concerned that he was pretty much abandoning his dog with us. We did speak to him about 3 weeks ago and he is now planning to move to New Orleans and hopes to take his dog with him. We told him that he needs to think about whether his 150lb dog who gets hot in Montana would enjoy New Orleans and if he can really take care of his dog. He said he would call back, still has not done so.

I have given up on Grendel's owner because I think he is going through some personal problems and will not ever come back for his dog friend. So we were hoping that a friend's father would adopt her, and unfortunately that has fallen through as well; We've decided to rehome her.

This decision was not made lightly. I really love Grendel and perhaps in other circumstances we would be able to keep her. As it is, I feel as though she is not getting the love she deserves from us; partly because of the fact that she was never supposed to be our dog and partly because we have a new puppy (just over a year old) whom I love with all my heart. I feel as though Grendel is experiencing a "lesser-loved-child" experience at our home. We buy Millie more toys and she sleeps in our bed and she gets more attention than Grendel. It makes me so sad to see myself doing this, but I keep doing it. I want Grendel to have a home where people love her as much as I love Millie and somewhere where she can have her own bed (rather than our couch) and toys and not be the second child forever. I know that some will disagree with the idea of rehoming her, many of my friends have asked me why we don't just keep her. It's mainly for the reasons above but also because we can't afford to feed two dogs at once and we have to move in the spring and I don't think we will be able to with a hyperactive puppy and a Bull Mastiff.

So, please give me your tips for rehoming. I'm thinking of a charging a rehoming fee and donating most of it to the local humane society, is this a good idea?? Also, where are good places to advertise a older, large dog? I also really want to visit people's homes who want to adopt Grendel, is this normal practice and is there anything I should look out for? Any other tips would be very much appreciated.

Thank you for your help and (hopefully) understanding about the situation.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 8:38pm PST 
Try and contact Bullmastiff rescue. Your contact should be Barbara Brooks-Worrell at bbrooks_worrell@hotmail.com. That is your best bet. To have Bullmastiff rescue take him or help you place him. You can also list yourself on Petfinder (I think they still have their classified section) and on RescueMe.Org (they have a Mastiff section), but contact the first person first and see if that gets you anywhere, as that would be the ideal...getting him with a breed person and experienced rescuers. She is a successful breeder in WA established with the breed club's rescue charter. Good luck to you, and let me know if there is any more guidance you need. I advise you against placing him yourself unless that is your last option. And yes, you must charge a definite rescue fee if you do.

Please start with Barbara! Loathe being icky, but I am assuming he is purebred?

Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 8:39pm PST

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Twister

forever loved
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 7, '12 3:31pm PST 
Tiller can give you much better advice than I can, but just wanted to check to see if you have made it clear to his owner that you are going to rehome the dog? If you haven't, perhaps try that first and see if he steps up to the plate. If not...than yeah, I think it is responsible of you to try to find Grendel a forever home. Good luck!
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Millie

1233736
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 6:16pm PST 
Thank you for the advise Tiller! I am contacting Barbara tonight, I agree with you that I would rather have someone who has had success homing large breed dogs help me rather than doing it myself. I honestly am not sure Grendel is purebred but she is very close if not full bull mastiff. I've met a couple other brindle mastiffs that look so much like her that are for sure full bred.

Twister - I am still hoping that Grendel's owner will give us some kind of definitive answer. The last we spoke with him we told him that he really needs to think about what's best for her (he's planning on moving to New Orleans this month and supposably wants to take her with him) and he hasn't gotten back to us. I'm not sure he has a job lined up down there or housing or anything though and I feel as though even though he is technically her "owner" if we gave her back with such uncertainty it would be like rehoming her somewhere that doesn't work for her. She hates it when it's hot in Montana, I can't imagine her liking New Orleans. But if he wants her back, I am totally willing to make that happen as she does belong to him.

Thanks again! I really appreciate the contact info for Barbara, I'll keep you updated.
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 3:32pm PST 
Just make sure you're legally protected. How you go about that will vary somewhat by state, but there are laws in place regarding what is considered abandonment and when it is acceptable to rehome a dog. In general, unless you can prove you have contacted the owner regarding rehoming the dog and have heard nothing for X amount of time, the owner has signed the dog over to you, or the owner shows up to sign the dog over to a rescue or shelter, you COULD be sued for theft by rehoming the dog. Increasingly, states are developing laws that define ownership more by who is providing care than who purchased the dog, but it's still a very grey area.

I hate to think someone you call friend would do that to you, but I also hate to think someone would ditch their dog like he has - and if he turns up hard for cash, a lawsuit may be very appealing.

Otherwise Bullmastiff rescue would be your best bet. It doesn't always matter if a dog isn't purebred. Some rescues require it, but others will take an obvious mix, or even a general type of dog - so for that matter, you could also call other Mastiff or large breed rescues. The only way to know is to call and ask - and if they can't help you, they may know of someone who can.

ETA: I don't think you're wrong for wanting to rehome this dog. You went into this thinking it was short-term with no financial burden, not that you were adopting a new dog. If it were working fabulously, there's nothing wrong with keeping him, but since it sounds like there are several issues in play rehoming would definitely be in everyone's best interest.

Edited by author Thu Dec 13, '12 3:35pm PST

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Millie

1233736
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 9:46am PST 
Update - Contacted Barbara and she said that they will be able to help. I am going to try to contact the owner again just because the rescue said it would be best to have any info regarding where he got her and possible AKC papers. Then they're going to help us find someone in MT who can help us out. I had a coworker mention that his girlfriend has always wanted a bullmastiff, but I really just have a bad feeling about that so I told him that we're going through the rescue process - Thanks so much again for the tip, I feel so much better about doing it this way than trying to do it myself.

Ember - I have been thinking about that ever since I read the Dogster article about the family trying to rehome the pitbull in Washington. Hopefully I can just get in touch with the owner and get him to sign off on something. He's supposably moving to New Orleans next Friday though so I'm not sure I will be able to. I'll do some research this weekend though on MT laws just to make sure I'm in the clear. I really can't imagine the owner doing something like that but I never thought he would leave his dog with us like you said as well so who knows.

So it looks like Grendel will at least be with us until Christmas, which I'm kind of glad about. I think that anyone would grow to love a dog that has been in their home for 6+ months no matter what the circumstance so I'm glad that we don't have to upheave her from another home around Christmas (even though she doesn't really know hah, but I think she does deep down).
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Twister

forever loved
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 7:34pm PST 
Glad to hear Barbara is working with you!hug I was also concerned about you getting in trouble legally so I hope you are able to contact the owner.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!smile
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