Giving up your pet FAQs

At Raystede, we take into our care and rehome over 1000 animals every year. With a dedicated team and exceptional facilities, we will aim help your pet to find a suitable new home and a fresh start, whilst supporting you at this difficult time.

I think I need to rehome my animal, how do go about this?

There are many reasons why people consider giving up their animals.

If your animal’s health or behaviour are contributing to your decision, we recommend getting some advice from an

approved behaviourist or vet. An adjustment in your animal’s care, routine or training may mean that you do not need

to rehome them after all.

However, we understand that sometimes unforeseen circumstances mean you are unable to continue to care for

your anima. At Raystede, we respect what a difficult but responsible decision it is to find your animal a new home. We

offer a non-judgemental service and always have the animal's best interests in mind.

We are here to help. Please contact us to tell us about your animal and your circumstances; complete a form on our

website or telephone our Rehoming Team on 01825 880468 (8:30am to 4:30pm, seven days a week). All visits to Raystede

to give up animals are by appointment only

Is using a rescue centre better than selling or advertising online?

You may be considering rehoming your animal privately, or through buy and sell websites or social media. This is fraught

with risks and it is difficult to be sure they will be well looked after. Giving your animal to a reputable rehoming centre

is a much safer option for all involved. It can take longer to find a suitable rescue for your animal, but the behavioural,

veterinary and rehoming expertise of centres like Raystede are worth waiting for

Is there a cost involved?

There is no fee for giving a animal to Raystede. As Raystede is a charity, some people choose to make a donation to help

towards their animal’s care. Whatever you feel able to give is very gratefully received, thank you. You are welcome to

donate when you bring your animal to us, via our website or by calling our Rehoming Team on 01825 880468.

Will you definitely help with my animal?

We will carefully discuss your animal and circumstances to see whether coming to Raystede is the best option for you

and your animal. There are some species which we are ordinarily unable to accept, or it may be that coming to Raystede

would not be appropriate due to your animal’s behaviour, breed type or health, for example. If this is the case, we will

do our best to provide other safe options for you to explore.

Please be aware we may not be able to help immediately and may have to add your animal to a waiting list.

Would you be able to collect my animal?

We understand that transport and time commitments may make it difficult for you to bring your animal to Raystede. If

you have transport difficulties, we are happy to discuss our collection service with you.

What happens to my animal while they are at Raystede?

Once we have agreed to accept your animal, we will book you an appointment with our Rehoming Team to tell us more

about your animal and complete the paperwork. The more detail you can give us the better to ensure we find the most

suitable new home. We like to receive copies of your animal’s vaccination card and a health history from your vet. We

also encourage you to bring along some of your animal’s personal belongings to help them settle in at the centre.

All animals receive a high standard of care, including a cosy area to themselves, a nutritious diet, access to safe and

appropriate exercise areas and toys, and plenty of attention from our dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Dogs

receive training and exercise according to their needs, and small animals are safely bonded with a suitable new

companion. All animals receive a health check with our veterinary team and any necessary treatments including

neutering, vaccinations, flea/wormer treatments, and microchipping, where applicable

Will my animal cope in a rescue environment?

Every animal copes differently when placed in an unfamiliar environment; we are here to help your animal feel safe and

comfortable. We have secluded, peaceful areas for those who need more time to adjust. Most animals settle quickly

and enjoy the extra attention, cuddles and playtime on offer. Despite our best efforts, on rare occasions animals can

struggle at Raystede and for these animals we can arrange for them to relax in a suitable foster home until they are


How will you find my animal a new home?

Our team will get to know your animal to build a thorough assessment, including their individual likes, dislikes, habits,

and requirements for their future home. This will include, for example, whether they could live with children or

other animals, ability to be home alone and how long for, exercise requirements and accommodation.

Any potential adopter must meet your animal’s individual requirements. Raystede’s matching process is very thorough;

we use a robust series of questionnaires, interviews, photos, and home visits if necessary, to ensure an ideal match

for both the animal and the adopter.

Most animals find a new home within a few weeks, whereas others take longer to find a home best suited to their

individual needs. Regardless of how long they are with us, the care and support each animal receives does not differ

What happens if my animal cannot be rehomed?

We aim to find every animal a permanent new home. However, sometimes we have to humanely put to sleep

animals who are too unwell to be rehomed, who have such challenging behaviours that mean they cannot safely

be rehomed, or who are of a banned breed and we are legally obliged to. This decision is never taken lightly.

Saying goodbye and moving forward

Saying goodbye and giving up your animal can be really upsetting, not dissimilar to going through a bereavement. If you

are struggling with coming to terms with your decision, please talk to someone. Organisations like the Blue Cross

Pet Bereavement service, Samaritans or Mind can help you deal with your loss.

It is important to understand that you will legally pass ownership of your animal to Raystede and will have no further

rights in relation to them. This is a confidential service; please be aware we cannot share details of new owners, nor

can we provide updates. You are welcome to track your animal’s progress on our website; this will describe the

requirements we are seeking from their future home, and state when they are reserved to a new family.

If the circumstances leading to your animal’s rehoming change while they are in our care, please get in touch; we can

discuss what has changed and how best to move forward. Raystede will always act in the best interests of the animal.

Are you accepting American XL bully dogs at Raystede?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept surrender requests for American XL bully dogs here at Raystede. We know that this might be a difficult time for owners and in the first instance would recommend visiting the following Government website to find out more about the latest requirements associated with owning an XL bully dog.

Our team are here to help. Please contact us to tell us about your animal and your circumstances; complete a form on our website or telephone our Rehoming Team on 01825 880468 (8:30am to 4:30pm, seven days a week).

We rely on your donations to help animals like Topsy.

When Topsy arrived with us, he was severely underweight and needed a lot of care. We couldn't help the amount of animals we do without your support. Please donate to help more animals get the care they deserve.