Private Rehoming(7 Posts)
I'm looking to rehome an adult dog privately - we don't want a puppy and our landlord is happy to turn a blind eye to us having pets, but can't give written permission as it would invalidate his landlord's insurance, so unfortunately we can't pass the requirements of rescue centres. Frustrating, especially as we'd move if the landlord changed his mind rather than rehome the dog, but understandable on the part of the rescue centres.
I've been looking at Pets4Homes and there do seem to be some adult dogs on there which need new homes. However, many come with scant information - if I had to rehome a dog I'd be writing an essay about it! Obviously I'd be having a lengthy conversation with the owners and going to meet it before deciding. I've owned a dog before I can cope with doing basic training etc. but would prefer one that is already housebroken and doesn't have any significant temperamental issues.
These are some examples of the sort of scant information adverts I've seen; I'm not looking to take any of these exact dogs, but just as examples -
I know buying a puppy is a complete minefield with lots of puppy farms, but is there anything I'm missing / equivalent scams with rehoming an adult dog? Any better ways to adopt an adult dog without having to go via an official rescue?
It's a difficult one. The sad reality is that people on these ads do tell lies as they just want rid of the dog asap and don't want to go on a waiting list for a rescue.
You are right - an owner with any shred of decency will write a full essay on their dog, will interrogate you on the phone before even arranging a meeting,and come to your house for a homecheck.
I have taken in quite a few Gumtree dogs ( for rescue) and the information given to me has honestly never been correct . The worst was a dog who I was told was absolutely fine with other dogs, who was clearly terrified and took a lot of work to adapt. The best have been several puppies handed over as 'unmanageable' who were nothing of the kind. I've been lied to about vaccinations, about training, about the amount of exercise the dog had.... basically everything.
You may get an absolute gem this way, but the odds are stacked against you.
There are, of course, scammers who will take FTGH dogs and then sell them, take dogs cheaply from the pound and then sell them at a profit and of course there will be stolen dogs on there as well. There are puppy farmers offloading older dogs usually because 'my child has an allergy' or 'I can't give him the time he deserves'.
Some rescues will understand your situation, it's worth pursuing. Local vets are sometimes aware of people who need to rehome for legitimate reasons. Some rescues will also advertise private rehomings if they are full, where the dog stays with the owner until a new home is found. Charities like the Cinnamon Trust ( there are other local ones as well) will long term foster dogs for people who are seriously ill or elderly and can no longer look after their pet - this may also be an option for you.
The issue is that nobody who cares about their pet and has any common sense is going to be advertising their dog for private rehoming online.
Because it's not a safe sensible way to rehome a dog.
Those adverts all look like people who've bought dogs and view them as possessions so now they've had fairly standard predictable changes in circumstances they want rid of them and rather than contact a breed rescue or similar organisation which would be a much safer option for the dog, they want to make some money instead.
Yes, you might luck out and find a perfectly nice dog, but equally you could be looking at a load of behavioural issues...
I would be immediately suspicious of someone asking large amounts of money for a rehomed dog. By all means they should be asking for a sum large enough to put off time wasters and people just wanting a cheap dog but £650 for a pug (as in one of these adverts) would have me immediately on alert.
Someone who didn't ask me as many questions as I asked them would also put me off. If they truly love the dog they are rehoming then they will want to know ALL about the home s/he is going to.
How they interact with the dog. A dog that has been loved is obvious and will enjoy interacting with their owner. An owner that loves their dog is more likely to be totally honest about them to ensure they go to the right home.
On that, someone that allowed me plenty of time to visit and see the dog before making a decision and didn't pressure me into taking the dog through emotional blackmail or claiming other people were interested in the dog. Anyone who did these things would send me running for the hills. You should be allowed to really see, walk, get to know the dog before taking him/her home.
I would also expect any owner that loves their dog to offer to take it back, no questions, if the rehome doesn't work out. One that washes their hands of the dog is not an owner I would want to deal with.
Someone for whom timing was critical (i.e. wanted the dog gone asap) would make me wary. Again, an owner that is caring will want to take the time to find the right new home.
Anyone who said the dog was perfect. NO dog is perfect and I could list, right now, 5 annoying habits about every dog I have ever owned, e.g. barks at the door bell, chews shoes, can be pushy when asking another dog to play, steals food off the counter, sneaks onto the sofa, has stinky breath, hates having nails clipped, is sick if eats too fast. I'm not describing a specific dog there (!!) just giving examples of where even great dogs have their quirks. An honest owner will let you know what they are.
Honestly? I would wait. You have no idea what you would be taking on. Nobody who loved their dog would just advertise them online.
Or would your landlord speak to a rescue and verbally give consent?
Definitely be mega wary of older freelisting dogs. Some of these may have been turned down by rescue centres for aggression issues, a lot of rescues won't take on serious food aggression or resource guarding for example or a dog with a bite history as they would just have to put it down as they can't afford to try and fix these things and they would be a liability for them to rehome. Of course someone isn't going to say that on an advert to offload the dog!
I'd be wary of the landlord situation. It might be different in the UK, but here in Oz, I would have written proof for everything. Your landlord is likely to "suddlenly" discover your unapproved dog when they decide they want to terminate the lease etc.
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