Making sure your pet ends up in a loving home

Tiffany Thompson (WGXA)

HOUSTON CO., Ga. -- Every year about 6.5 million pets walk through the doors of shelters nationwide, according to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But about 1.5 million of them will never make it out.

Dee Allison, director of the Humane Society in Houston County, says there's been a surge of owner surrenders nationwide and in middle Georgia. But sometimes, the people asking for your pet may not have the right intentions.

"I started trying to trap feral kittens and it just escalated from there through the years," Allison said.

Now, she says the need to help has only gotten greater.

"We get owner surrenders sometimes -- they are animals that have not had a provision for that people have died or passed away," Allison said. "They can't take care of them anymore."

Allison says when you take on an animal, they become a part of your family.

"Yes you have unforseen things that happen," she said. "We've recently had a lady that was very ill and we had to take her dog in."

But if you have to make a tough decision and re-home your pet, you need to be careful. She says sometimes people will pretend to be something they're not -- offering false promises and a fake forever home.

But she says there are ways you can prevent that.

"Ask for vet references," she said. "Provide that you are going to be able to take care of my dog. That you've had a dog you've said in the past. Show me where you've kept up on their vaccines and their heartworm preventative."

Allison also says screen them on Facebook, and if possible, check out the potential home.

Shonia Laumann volunteers at the Humane Society. She says these are all the tips they use to find the perfect home for their shelter pets.

"We have a screening process that we go through and we have an adoption coordinator," she said. "She does a vet check and references and things like that. She talks to them on the phone. We can do and have done home visits."

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