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Ask the PETS+ Community: Do You Take Back and Rehome Pets?

Retailers share whether they accept returns of live animals and how they handle rehoming.





question: Full-line stores that sell live birds, reptiles, small animals, do you rehome pets when customers want to give them up? How do you handle it? — Paige Elder, Buzz N’ B’s Aquarium & Pet Shop, Erie, PA

  • We use a surrender form, and they must come in their cage or tank. I don’t take everything; they have to be healthy. We do discount them. — Lee Morris, All for the Pet, Severna Park, MD
  • We take surrenders only. We do not purchase because 50 percent of them need vet care or TLC before they can leave again. We do require a suitable habitat to rehome them. We also limit how many we take at once because you can get overwhelmed. And my husband does occasionally remind me we are not a rescue. But people will dump them if we don’t take them. — Rachael Creech, Adventure Pets, Mandeville, LA
  • You ask for a suitable habitat? Do you then rehome the animal with that habitat? It seems there would be more money to be made if they needed to purchase items. — Paige Elder
  • Yes, because we don’t want to mix them with our existing animals, usually babies. But we don’t include food, treats, toys, hay, etc. — Rachael Creech
  • I pull all my rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and some cats from our local shelter, then adopt them out with my application. We charge $60 for all of our animals; $30 goes to the animal shelter and $30 goes in my pocket. We do cash only for our animals. — Rachel Aune, Buddy’s Pet Stop, Mobile, AL
  • We probably get about six a week. The only downfall is that a lot of them need vet care, so sometimes their vet care is higher than their value. But then there are many other times that the animal has nothing wrong with it and we’re able to resell it at closer to retail price, which helps offset the cost of caring for the rescues. Last year we spent $24,000 on rescue vet care. — Cyndi Moore-Treadwell, Reigning Reptiles, Buford, GA
  • When you buy animals from us, we will rehome. My policy is no questions or guilt trips. If they make the call, they are doing the best for the animal. But only our animals, not the world’s animals! In their cage if possible, or we put it in a tub for free with the purchase of everything it needs. We make it a great world for the rehome, and too much for them to flip it on Craigslist. I have a network of teachers and make them a great deal or totally free. Not sure why, but we rarely get anything with health issues. — Terri Bates Hallberg, Petland, Albuquerque, NM
  • I have a rescue as well as the store. There are some animals I purchase, but rarely. Everything else is surrendered, and I 100% do not give anything because of the amount of care a lot of them need. I have paid for some and regretted it: $600 worth of vet work into a ball python, several hundred and ultimately a euthanasia into a beardie. I do not charge high prices, but I do insist on appropriate setups. — Tasha Hermanson, Woofta Pet Shop, Dickinson, ND

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