Advocates For Animal Rights (AFAR) is a 501c3 Companion Animal Rescue. AFAR has two locations: our first location is In the Beautiful State of Michigan, and our second location is in the Impressive State of Tennessee!

Our primary goal is to raise NO-KILL Companion Animal Sanctuary's at both sites, offering a safe haven to all homeless animals. They will have permanent, safe and loving place to live until a forever home for them is found. However, if a forever home is not readily available, the sanctuary will remain their home away from home until a forever home is found.



WE ADVOCATE- For Animals & Their Caregivers,

WE EDUCATE- On the Importance of Spaying or Neutering Your Animals,

WE CELEBRATE- The Lives of our Companion Animals and the Extraordinary Bond That We Share With Them!




(866) 224-AFAR

Before You Re-Home Your Animal

Advocates For Animal Rights (AFAR) was established in 2007 by a group of animal rescuers & professionals who’ve been volunteering in this area for many years. We educate the public about the rewarding & life enriching benefits of animal guardianship. If you are reading this information, then you are considering re-homing your animal.

Not that long ago you were thrilled to have an animal who loved you unconditionally. You never dreamed you’d have to give them up someday. But even if you can’t care for them any more, your animal still depends on you to do what’s best for them. Now, more than ever, they need you to make the right choices for their future.

Your animal is your responsibility. They have no one else but you to look out for their best interests and it will take you effort, patience, and persistence to find them the right home. They deserve your best efforts. Finding a new home will involve several important steps. But before you plan on re-homing them, please take a minute to read the following information.                                                       .

The most important question you must ask yourself is: Do really have to give up my Animal(s)? There’s a big difference between being forced to give up your animal and wanting to get rid of them. If you are honest with yourself, this decision could be based on some challenge you’re experiencing with your pet. Normally, these challenges are either People or Animal Related Issues.

People Related Issues


Moving is a very common reason for thinking that you have to surrender your animal. Most people give up too quickly in their search for a rental property that accepts pets. But affordable rental homes that allow pets are out there if you work to find them. Widening your search might mean a slightly longer drive to work, but you’d be able to keep your pet.

Not Enough Time For Your Animal

“We don’t have enough time to care for them.” If your pet was adopted as a baby, they took far more of your time then than they do now. Take a moment to consider what they really need – food & water, potty-time, exercise time (often very little for an elderly animal) and most importantly Love & being near you.

If it is a baby with which you are having time constraints, ask yourself if it would be possible for another member of the family help out? What about friends? Could you afford to hire an animal caregiver or hire a junior or high school student at nominal cost? Your baby animal’s high energy stage will pass, but during this period you’ll need to somehow provide a proper outlet for their energy level.

If You’ve Had A Baby Or New Addition To Your Family

If introduced correctly, there will not be any challenges for your animal and your human baby. There are plenty of ways to socialize your animal with your new baby or child. Seek out options through your local library, the internet, or just ask us.


There are many things you can do (and some wonderful products on the market) that will aid in  keeping your pet happy, healthy, and allergy free. Ask your local vet to show you what they keep in stock.

Giving your pet up for adoption should be your last option, not your physician’s first choice. Intense emotional issues surface when people are told to surrender their pets, and its especially traumatic when several children are involved and only one child is allergic. There are an extremely large number of families who keep their pets in spite of being told to give them up. Estimates by allergists range from 75% to 90%. In selecting an allergist, especially if you already care for a pet, look for a physician who will be sensitive to your feelings and do everything possible, within reason, to work with you to help your pet stay in the family.

Animal Related Issues


If you obtained your animal as a baby and now has a behavior challenge that’s hard to manage, you must accept the fact that you are at least partly responsible for the way your animal is acting. You have 4 options:


  1. You can continue to live with the animal way they are;
  2. You can get help to correct the challenge;
  3. You can give the challenges you helped to create to someone else to clean up;
  4. Or you can have the animal destroyed

The 1st option is probably out or you wouldn’t be considering re-homing them.

The 2nd option is truly what needs to happen; it’s just the responsible thing to do. But it involves work and time, and you may feel that you’re out of both.

The 3rd option is probably what you are considering since you are thinking of re-homing them. Here’s the reality of this option. If you were seeking an animal and could select from all types & varieties, would you deliberately choose an animal with a behavior challenge? No, certainly not, and neither would anyone else. To make your animal desirable to others, you’re going to have to take action to repair the flawed training techniques the animal has, or just simply lie to the person that’s considering adopting your animal. And as you well know, they will soon discover the animal’s challenges. They may be less informed than you and re-home the animal again. And now the poor animal is the victim, being bounced from house to house without anybody ever addressing the animal’s challenges. If that’s the case, please just choose option #4 and save them the torture of multiple re-homing’s.

If your animal is aggressive or defensive over something to the point of snapping or biting, please understand that by re-homing them you are now putting others at risk, and yourself too,  by way of possible legal challenges. If it is a more serious behavior problem – a trainer (option #2) or option #4 would be the right decision. No matter how much you love your animal, if they have ever bitten anyone, or if you are having doubts about others safety, you only have two responsible choices – Suggestion #1: take them to a professional trainer or behaviorist for evaluation. Most animals can be rehabilitated. This option could be costly and time consuming. In most cases though would be very rewarding. If this is not an option for you, then Suggestion #2: take them to your veterinarian and have him humanely euthanized. Don’t re-home them. The animal may become frightened and confused and put other people at risk. Suggestion #3: leave the animal in the care of a reputable NO KILL sanctuary. Another tip, if you are trying to place a dog, don’t try to place them as a “guard dog” where they may be neglected, abused or used as bait by those dishonorable people who participate in the dog fighting ring. As hard as it is to face, putting a potentially dangerous biting animal in a sanctuary, or to sleep are sometimes the only safe and responsible things to do.

There is good news though because by choosing option #2, even the most annoying behavior challenges are readily & easily repaired through proper training techniques, and a little of your time. Who knows, you could have discarded the very pet who has the potential to give you years of Love and True Devotion if presented with the opportunity.

The Reality Of  Re-homing Your Pet

The Reality Of  Most Animal Control Shelters

By law, stray animals must be kept several days to give their owners a chance to reclaim them. They may not be destroyed until that period is up. But these laws don’t protect animals that have been surrendered by their caregivers. They can be destroyed at any time. Shelters don’t want to euthanize all these animals but sometimes they don’t have another choice. There just isn’t enough room for all of them. Some shelters today are so overcrowded that your animal could be euthanized the same day it arrives.

Additionally, if your animal is old, large in size, has health problems, is the wrong color, or has poor attitudes toward strangers, their chances of adoption are slim to none. Being a pure bred doesn’t help chances at survival. True “no-kill” shelters are few and far between and are often very selective about the animals they bring in.

Breed specific rescues or all breed rescues are usually manned by small groups of volunteers using their homes to foster animals until they can find new homes. Usually they are at capacity or they have other dogs already on waiting lists. They also, have to select for higher adaptability.  For every animal that stays in long-term foster care means that are many more adoptable animals that aren’t being helped.

Many rescue organizations offer the use of their site to post a picture and information about your animal to get information out to the public. AFAR provides that service too, but this means that your animal still remains in your care, and is solely your responsibility to find a suitable home in the mean time.

If you are able to pursue the option of keeping the animal until a home is found, please read the next section on screening potential homes.

Screening Potential Homes

First, if possible, call the breeder, rescue, or person you originally received your animal from. Many will either assist you in finding a new home or take the animal back to re-home themselves. Many rescues have contracts that clearly state that the animal is to be returned to them no matter how much time has passed. If the animal can not be returned, take some time to evaluate your animal’s adoption potential.

You need to be realistic. Usually older animals (older than 4 yrs), larger animals, animals with health issues, or those shy or leery of strangers usually take a long time to find a new home (possibly many months). This takes time and effort on your part.

Make a list of what you feel is most important for your animal. Then get real. No home will be perfect of course, so you’ll have to make compromises. What kind of people are you looking for? What will you be willing to compromise on? Once you have a firm idea of what you’re looking for, it will be easier to plan your search and get the results you want.

Preparing Your Animal

Your animal will be much more appealing if their clean and healthy. First, take then to the vet for a full check, especially up if they haven’t had one in the last 6 months. If shots haven’t been kept up to date or if your animal isn’t spayed or neutered, do it now! Start or update a pet record medical history. The only kind of “breeder” who’ll be interested in your dog will be animal millers, brokers, or those who seek ‘bait’ for training their fighting dogs. Brokers seek out unaltered purebreds for resale to puppy mills or research laboratories. That’s not the kind of future you want for your dog, is it? Having the animal spayed or neutered & up on their shots is the best way to insure that a family who wants to adopt a best friend or a family member will adopt your animal. If you can’t afford the cost of surgery, check with your vet or local shelter for inexpensive spay/neuter clinics or vets.

Grooming Your Animal

A bathed animal with trimmed nails and clean ears is much more desirable to potential adopters than an un-kept animal.

Setting An Adoption Fee

You can’t expect the new owner to pay the same price for a “used” animal as they would for a new baby, but charging a fee usually helps ensure that the adopters are really ready for animal guardianship. A reasonable fee is $75.00 to $150.00 which helps to offset your advertising and veterinary costs. If they aren’t willing to pay an adoption fee or complain that it is too high do you think they will spend the necessary dollars if the animal has a minor injury or illness?

Advertising For A New Home

Word of mouth doesn’t go very far. Don’t be afraid to use classified ads to advertise your animal, flyers in local stores or several web sites with various rescue groups if they offer this service. Never include the phrase “free to good home” in your ad even if you’re not planning to charge a fee. This usually generates the wrong type of people interested in adopting your animal, and often gives the unscrupulous the necessary verbiage so can say all the right things to con you. Also, there are some unfortunate individuals that purchase animals and turn around and sell them to “B” Dealers”. B Dealers are people who SELL ANIMALS to RESEARCH LABORATORIES! This happens all the time, so Be Aware who you’re selling your animal to!

Screening Potential Caregivers

You are under no obligation to give your animal to the first person who says they want to adopt them. You have every right to ask questions and choose the person you think will make the best new caregiver. Don’t let anyone rush or intimidate you.

First of all, get your applicant’s name, address and phone number. Deceitful people may call you from a phone booth or give you a non-existent address. Ask for information that you can verify. Make sure all people in the home are in agreement with a new adoptee coming into their home. If the potential adopter is renting, verify that the landlord or apartment complex allows pets (confirm this!) especially of a certain size/breed.

Ask for credible references: Get the phone number of their vet (if they’ve had pets before) and three additional credible references. Call those references. Explain to them that ‘John Doe’ is interested in adopting your pet and you’re wanting to verify John’s information and they will be responsible to care for, and provide annual vaccinations and heart-worm preventative.

Once you’ve chosen good candidates, make an appointment for them to meet your animal, and another appointment for you to see their home. There are some things you need to explain to the new family before they take your animal home: The animal will experience an adjustment period as they get to know their new family, learn new rules of the household, and mourn the loss of their old family. Most animals will adjust within a few weeks, but others may take longer. During this time, the new family should avoid forcing the animal to do anything stressful like taking a bath, obedience training classes, meeting too many strangers at once, etc. until they’ve had a chance to settle in. Tell them to take things easy at first and give their new animal some time to bond to them. The animal might not eat for the first day or two. Not to worry, they’ll eat when they are ready. Some animals temporarily forget their previous training. Even a well trained animal may have an accident or two during the first days in their new home. This isn’t unusual and rarely happens more than once or twice.

Necessary Paperwork

Have the new caregiver sign an adoption contract; including a waiver of liability (Ask us to see a sample contract). Keep a copy for your records. A contract will help to protect the animal and the waiver of liability helps to protect you. You don’t have a crystal ball to predict what your animal might do in the future. Remember; a waiver of liability will not protect you if you have lied or misrepresented the animal to their new caregivers. Tell the family they should call you if the adoption doesn’t work out. Let them know you want to keep in touch and will call them in a few days to see how things are going. Tell them to call you if they have questions or challenges. Be willing to take the animal back into your home if things don’t work out the way you both expected. By then things may have calmed down and you may be in better shape to seek out training methods previously not thought possible.

Good luck in your search for a new home for your animal. The effort that you put forth now will be worth it when you find a great home for him.

And remember, AFAR is here to assist you in any way we possibly can.


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