Animal shelter launches online tool to help rehome pets

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FARMINGTON, N.M. — When you need to surrender your pet, dropping it off at an animal shelter can lead to a sad result. One shelter in the Four Corners is trying to avoid that.

“Some of the saddest things I have ever seen is pets being surrendered by their owners,” said Stacie Voss, animal welfare director at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter.

Over the past year, Voss has seen a steady increase in people giving up their pets.   

“This whole year has really been pretty bad. 2020, 2021 were almost cakewalks compared to what it’s been this year, we have just seen a much bigger need in general,” Voss said. “There is a lot of economic hardship right now and so people are going through some hard times and pets are going to suffer because of that.”

So the shelter is doing some adopting of its own, by implementing a new online tool.

Home To Home is really a kind of interface for owners to find easier ways to rehome their pet rather than bringing them to the shelter, it connects people looking to rehome their animals and people looking for an animal,” Voss said.

People looking to separate from their pet can log on to the website and post a picture of their pet with a description. Once the shelter approves it, adopters can reach out. 

“If you can talk to the previous owner of that pet you can ask all the questions you need to ask and make sure that pet is going to be a really good fit for your family” Voss added.

All while your pet can stay on the couch, and out of the kennel.

“Not having to see those owner surrenders come in and shut down and be scared or get sick would be great for us they never have to come here they get connected online those animals go straight from one home to another home,” Voss said.

The shelter is also starting a surrender prevention program to help people that want to keep their pet but are having difficulty doing so. Voss said currently they will help people with pet supplies, but hope to expand the program in the near future, so that more animals can stay at home.