Saying goodbye to your pet

Sometimes, circumstances can make it impossible for you to continue giving your pet the care that it needs. That’s when it might be a good idea to rehome your pet with a new owner, which will probably be the best solution for you both. And, of course, we’ll be happy to help.

Bespoke care

At DOA, we pride ourselves on the professional and, above all, loving way that we ensure your pet is cared for and found a new home. We specialise in taking in animals that have medical and/or behavioural problems. Before placing an animal we always do all in our power to solve any existing problems. Naturally, your dog, cat or rabbit is also very welcome if there is nothing at all wrong with them. Our care is always tailored to the needs of the individual animal. And this is an approach we also apply to rehoming pets, when we always seek the optimum match between the animal and the new owner. Our overriding objective, at the end of the day, is happy pets and happy owners!

Saying goodbye to your pet
Good to know

Question time

Nobody knows your pet as well as you do, his good sides, his less-good sides, what he likes and dislikes, and… well, you get the picture. We prefer to collate as much information as possible about your pet so we can provide the optimum support and thus find him an owner that suits him. For this reason, please be prepared to answer a lot of questions. In addition to hearing your story, medical records from your vet and notes from a behavioural therapist, for example, will all be very useful to us.

Good to know

Two heads are better than one

 If your pet’s behaviour is problematical, it can sometimes drive you to despair, often to the extent that it’s very difficult to remain completely objective, despite the fact that it might be possible to alter that behaviour. Perhaps it’s not even necessary for you and your pet to go your separate ways? We’ll be happy to explore with you whether a solution can be found in which you and your pet could once again be happy together. Our behavioural therapists will be only too pleased to help. The solution to a problem is often much closer at hand than you might think!

Make an appointment for behavioural advice

Saying goodbye, one step at a time

 Fill in the registration form

The first thing you’ll need to do is to fill in the registration form, in which we’ll ask you why you want your pet to be rehomed, as well as some generic information about the animal. We also ask your permission - if applicable - to consult the animal’s medical dossier and any notes made by a behavioural therapist. Armed with all this information, we’ll be able to get a good first impression of your pet.

Incidentally, we only accept animals from the municipalities of Amsterdam, Waterland and Diemen. If you live somewhere else, it’s best to get in touch with an animal shelter in your own region. An exception to this is if you adopted your pet from us, in which case we will accept the animal irrespective of where you live.

Make an appointment for an intake interview

When you submit your registration form, you can also make an appointment for an intake interview with one of our employees. During this interview, which will be by telephone and take approximately 10 minutes, we will discuss the situation with you and jointly decide whether rehoming is indeed the best option. The employee will also outline the next steps that you’ll need to take and, of course, you can ask any questions you might have about DOA in general and rehoming your pet in particular.

Make a rehoming appointment to bring your pet in

If, during the telephone interview, it is decided that rehoming is indeed the best solution, a rehoming appointment will immediately be scheduled for you to bring the animal to us. We’ll try to help you as quickly as we can but please bear in mind that, during the busy summer months in particular, you might be facing a wait of several weeks. It goes without saying that we always do our best to avoid a long wait.

Rehoming interview

During the rehoming interview, which typically takes between 30 and 45 minutes, we will try to obtain as much information as possible about your pet’s personality and background. It’s important that we get to know your pet as well as possible and that you have all the time you need to say goodbye to one another.

How much does rehoming cost?

Unfortunately, rehoming is not free. We use the fee that we charge to make the animal’s stay with us as amenable as possible. It also makes training and socialisation possible, as well as any necessary treatment from our vet. Animals left with us are cared for until a new home is found for them, even if that takes longer than expected. Moreover, to ensure we can quickly find a good new owner it’s also necessary to focus on the animals’ promotion.

If you are unable to pay the rehoming fee, please let us know in the registration form. We can then look for a mutually acceptable solution.


Health check for animals > 4 months € 35,00
Health check for animals < 4 months Free
Behavioral test dog incl. discussion and report €100,00
Microchipping € 25,00
Vaccination dog/cat/rabbit € 20,00
Medical treatment costs Variable
Behavior training Variable

* Depending on your pet’s medical condition, additional costs of necessary medical treatment might have to be charged. No extra costs will be charged for kittens, puppies and baby rabbits.

FAQ saying goodbye to your pet

Will the animal be put to sleep if the rehoming process takes too long?

An extended stay is no reason for destroying an animal. We have followed a stringent policy on putting animals to sleep since the 1980s. It is only considered if there is a possibility that the animal is suffering unbearably or if it poses a threat to itself, our handlers or to a potential new owner. In the event of behavioural problems, a separate commission will decide.

Will I be told if a new home is found for my pet?

Once you have decided that you want your pet to be rehomed you can indicate whether you want to be informed that a new home has been found for him.

What if rehoming isn’t successful?

 It can sometimes take a long time to find a new owner for an animal, which we then refer to as difficult to place. These are often animals with “baggage”, for which we have developed a special misfits programme (link). Within the framework of this programme we support new owners with the necessary care, thereby making these animals more attractive to adopt.

Sometimes, if we think it will improve the chances of finding a good match, we might decide to transfer an animal to a different shelter. In other cases we might look for a place in a permanent shelter where the animal can stay in a homely environment for the rest of its life. One thing we do know is that for every Jack there is a Jill, so to speak!

Do you also accept rodents, reptiles or birds?

 No, rodents and birds are cared for by specialist animal shelter organisations.

Can I still stay in touch with my pet afterwards?

We appreciate that it’s a very difficult decision to leave your pet behind and that you might like to keep in touch. But imagine how confusing it would be for the poor animal if you were to drop by and then leave again without him. For this reason it is, unfortunately, not possible to visit the animal after you entrust him to our care. You can, of course, send us a message to ask how your pet is doing!

I regret giving up my pet; can I get him back?

If you regret your decision to give up your pet, you can always get in touch with us. However, whether or not the animal can then return home with you depends to a large extent on why you wanted to give him or her up in the first place. Perhaps it will be in the animal’s - or your own - best interest that he or she is not returned to you, however painful that may be.

How long will it take to find my pet a new home?

That’s difficult to say in advance. On average, a new home is found within 60 days. Of course, this can take longer, particularly if the animal needs training or has a medical complaint that needs to be addressed first.

Can I get in touch with my pet’s new owner?

We can pass on your contact details to the new owner of your animal, but it’s then up to the new owner whether he or she wants to get in touch with you. Bear in mind that not everybody wants to do this.

 I can no longer keep my pet at home. What are my options?

If it’s in any way or shape an emergency, get in touch with us immediately. By emergency we mean:

* the animal is so aggressive that it places you or others at risk, or makes you fearful of approaching it;

* the owner has died suddenly and the animal has nobody to look after it;

* the animal is in urgent need of medical attention and the owner is unable to ensure it receives that medical attention;

* the animal is exposed to the aggressive behaviour of someone in your immediate vicinity (link to contact page).

To the contact page


Why is there a waiting list; and how long is this anyway?

Sometimes, many people decide to part company with their pet at the same time, such as during the summer holidays, for example. And if many stray animals are also brought to us, our kennels can fill up quickly, forcing us to temporarily halt admissions. If this is the case we will report it on our website. It’s also possible that we might need extra time to facilitate the smooth transfer of every animal, which can also run up a waiting list. However, we can usually accept your animal, or animals, within just a few weeks of you registering. During the relevant telephone intake interview, we will discuss any possible waiting time with you.