Help Placing Your Dog or Cat

Animal Friends Rescue Project primarily helps the at-risk dogs and cats from our overburdened local animal shelters. This means we are limited in our ability to take animals directly from the public. Occasionally AFRP has space available to accept cats or dogs through our Compassionate Surrender Program.

We are committed to every dog and cat adopted from AFRP for their lifetime. If you find yourself in the difficult position of needing to return your adopted animal, we will support you by placing your dog or cat in our adoption program and we will find him/her a new, loving home. Please fill out our AFRP Animal Return Form or call 831-333-0722. We appreciate advance notice before returning your dog or cat. A  surrender donation is appreciated and will help us meet your pet’s needs while in our care. Please provide current vet records and a written biographical profile about your pet to assist us with placing him or her in the perfect new home.

If you did not adopt your companion from AFRP and find that you are unable to keep your pet, you might want to try to re-home your dog or cat yourself. This way your pet avoids the stressful shelter environment, and you are involved in choosing the best placement for your animal. Please allow as much time as possible to find a new home for your pet.

What You Can Do:


  • Contact your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers to see if they can help.
  • Submit your dog or cat for a Courtesy Listing on the AFRP website. Animals must be spayed/neutered prior to posting. A good digital photo and a paragraph describing your pet can be sent to Be sure to include your animal’s name, age, breed and weight. Is your dog or cat good with other animals or children? House trained? Know obedience commands? Include any special health or behavior issues new adopters would want to know. Also include the name of the city where the animal currently lives, and the best contact information to post on the web. This is a free service, but a $20 donation is appreciated. Your ad will be posted for two months, and can be renewed. Priority is given to animals living on the Central Coast of California.
  • Contact other rescue organizations to see if there is space. If your pet is a purebred, contact breed-specific rescue groups.
  • Post flyers at vet clinics, church, school and community bulletin boards.
  • Consult with a trainer or behaviorist for guidance about solving a behavior issue so that you can keep your animal in the home.
  • Make sure your pet is spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccinations and had a recent vet exam to make him or her a good candidate for adoption.
  • Use social media to get the word out about your dog or cat, including Facebook and Nextdoor.
  • Post your animal on Rehome a service platform launched by This is a free service to pet guardians.
  • Bring your dog to one of our offsite adoption events for exposure to potential adopters. Check our Event Calendar for times and dates. Please notify us if you would like to attend an event.
  • Be sure to carefully screen people who answer your ad so that your animal is going to a good, loving home. Here are some suggested questions to ask potential adopters:

Is this pet for you or for someone else?

If the dog or cat is for another person, then tell them that you need to speak directly to the prospective guardians. Gifts for other people of live animals can be a terrible mistake.

Do you live in a house? mobile home? apartment?

Does the house/mobile home/apartment have a yard?

(if adopting a dog) Is the yard completely fenced? How high is the fence?

Will the dog or cat be an indoor or outdoor pet?

Have you had any pets before? If so, what happened to them?

If there is a pattern of neglect – “Oh my last 3 dogs were all hit by cars/poisoned/stolen,” etc., this is not a good home. One negative incident doesn’t immediately rule them out, but does require closer examination. If, for example, the previous dog was hit by a car, what precautions has the person made to ensure that this is unlikely to happen again?

Do you have children? If so, what are their ages?

Children can be a blessing or a curse to a pet. It is unadvisable to place a puppy or kitten with children under 6 years old. There are many incidents where children have inadvertently killed puppies and kittens by picking them up the wrong way or rolling over on them. In a good home, parents carefully control the interactions between the animal and the children.

How many hours would the animal be alone during the day?

The number of hours that the animal will be alone needs to be taken into account. A young dog or cat can get very lonely and destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Do you own your home or are you renting?

If a person is renting their home, verify that they have permission from the landlord to have a pet (and the size and kind the landlord allows).

May I have your landlord’s phone number?

Who is your veterinarian? (You may or may not decide to phone the vet for a reference but the answer to this question will let you know if they ever take their animals to the vet for shots, etc.)

Again, thank you for caring about animals, and we wish you good luck in finding your animal friend a great home!