Rehome by Adopt a Pet is an online service that connects potential adopters with private owners who need to find another loving home for their pet. The pets available for adoption are living in a home with their current family. Adopting through a private owner often times spares the pet from entering the sheltering system. When you search for dogs or cats on Adopt a Pet you’ll see pets from shelters, rescues, and private owners. This guide is only for pets listed by private owners. You can choose to filter your search results to just see pets listed by private owners:
After you search on Adopt a Pet and find a "Private owner pet" you’re interested in, click the "Apply to Adopt" button and complete an adoption application for that pet. Applying to adopt does not lock you into an adoption; it allows us to share your application, email, and phone number with that pet's private owner so they may contact you directly.
2. Wait for a response.
We ask private owners to respond to all adoption applications within 72 hours if possible. However, some families are in difficult situations. Please give them up to 14 days to respond. The average response time is 7-10 days. We recommend you continue to look, and apply for other pets while you wait! Depending on the private owner’s decision:
- If they would like to move forward, they'll contact you via phone or email.
- If they decide to proceed with another applicant, you will not hear from them directly, you’ll receive an email notification from email@example.com.
Pro Tip: If it's been more than 14 days since you applied and you haven’t received a notification or heard from the private owner, please move on to look for a different pet. Pets with no online owner activity are removed from Adopt a Pet after 30 days.
3. Phone call
If the private owner wants to move forward, they should call you. During the phone call, ask any questions you may have about the pet. If the call goes well, ask if they can do a video call with you and their pet, such as Zoom or Facetime. This lets you see the pet in their current home, and you can show the private owner their pet’s potential new home.
Pro Tip: Do not rely on just texts and emails. A phone or video call is an important step and helps protect you by weeding out potential scammers. If a private owner refuses to do a phone or video call, that’s a huge red flag and we ask that you report this to us here.
4. Meet & Greet
If you and the private owner decide to proceed after the call, you'll schedule an in-person Meet & Greet. This gives you, and the rest of your family (yes everyone should be there), the opportunity to meet the pet, and gives the private owner an opportunity to meet you. This is a crucial step for adoption success and should never be skipped! Meet & Greets:
- Allow you to ensure the pet listed is the one you would be adopting.
- Prevent scammers from posing as private owners (listing fake pets), and prevents you from becoming a victim of potential scammers.
- Help potential new canine siblings get acquainted in a neutral setting (yes, any dogs you have should be there when meeting a new dog).
- Last but not least, help ensure the pet is a good fit for your family and you’re a good fit for them!
Pro Tip: Always schedule a Meet & Greet in a public place. For everyone’s safety, never conduct a Meet & Greet at your home or the private owner’s home. Not only does this protect both parties, it helps ensure pets will not become territorial on their home turf. For more tips, click here!
5. Return discussion.
During the Meet & Greet, discuss with the owner and come to an agreement on what will happen if the adoption doesn't work out. If you'll return the pet to their previous owner, discuss and agree on a timeline (within two weeks, a month, a year, forever?). If the owner can't take the pet back, and at any time you're unable to continue providing a safe and loving home for your new pet, as the pet's new guardian you may rehome using Rehome by Adopt a Pet, surrender them to a rescue, or your local animal shelter.
6. Finalize the Adoption.
After the Meet & Greet, if both you and the owner are ready to finalize, the owner will log in to their Rehome by Adopt a Pet account and click, “Finalize the Adoption" on your application. This will automatically send an email to both of you with a Transfer of Ownership form.
7. Complete the Transfer of Ownership Form.
Both you and private owner need to complete and sign this form. You may sign online through Adobe Acrobat, or print two copies to complete, sign, and exchange at the pet handoff.
Pro Tip: Both you and the private owner need to retain a completed/signed Transfer of Ownership agreement for your records, this is very important!
8. Pay the adoption fee.
You'll pay any adoption fee directly to the private owner. Payment should be made at the pet handoff - not before, not after.
9. Pet handoff.
Arrange for the handoff of your new pet. Again, for everyone's safety, this should always be done in a public place (such as a pet-friendly store). While this is an exciting time for you, it may be very difficult for the private owner; please be compassionate during this time.
10. Congrats, your adoption is complete!
Give your new pet ample time, space, and patience when adjusting to you, their new home, routine, and any canine and/or feline siblings. Kindness, patience, and making all introductions very slowly and gradually (especially to children and any canine and/or feline siblings), will help tremendously! While every pet is different, in general, 6-8 weeks is a realistic timeline if you're helping and supporting them through the process. Check out these super helpful tips:
- I've adopted a pet, now what? Here are our Top 5 Tips!
- Bringing home a new cat? A cat parent's guide
- Bringing home a new dog? Here are our top 10 tips!
- Introducing your New Dog to Other Dogs
- Introducing a New Puppy to Your Adult Dog
- Introducing your New Cat or Kitten to Your Cat
*Warning: Never pay an adoption fee (or anything else) to a private owner BEFORE meeting the pet in person. For your safety, Rehome recommends you only pay at the pet handoff. If you're asked to pay in advance or before meeting a pet, please alert us.