Survivors should sign a boarding contract and release form when the pets enter your program. This stipulates that if they are not able to reclaim their pet, the pet becomes the property of your organization. This will allow you to re-home the pet if necessary. While this does occasionally happen, the majority of organizations who have received Safe Housing grants report that the pets and survivors are able to move forward together. There may also be health or legal issues that remove the survivor from shelter and keep them from reclaiming their pets when originally agreed. In these cases, if the survivor does not want to relinquish their pet a new contract can be drawn up for extended boarding if resources are available.
Visit the Document Library at DontForgetThePets.org for examples of various forms that you can use to create your own. Along with a lot of detailed information on building a pet program, Don’t Forget the Pets offers a training workshop and personal consultation through the coaching program. Don’t Forget the Pets is a collaboration between RedRover and Rescue Rebuild.