How to Rehome a Pit Bull

Updated July 19, 2017

Sometimes things happen in life that may require you to find a new home for your pet pit bull. Even though your pit bull might be playful, gentle and lovable, these are terms not often associated with pit bulls due to public perception of the breed as dangerous. Because of this, rehoming or adopting out your dog mat be a daunting task. Do not give up though, because with patience and understanding, you can successfully rehome your pit bull to a good home.

List your reasons for wanting to rehome your pit bull. Be sure you really want to give up your pet, and look for solutions that could help you avoid giving up a dog you really want. Also, the dog's new owner likely will want to know the reasons you can no longer keep the animal.

Evaluate your dog's rehoming potential. Because of the pit bulls reputation, there is a smaller pool of potential new owners. Many people who have never owned a pit bull will not consider the breed as a pet. If your dog is aggressive to strangers, other animals or pets, you may need to reconsider adopting it out. Know what your dog needs, such as a large fenced yard, toys, special diet and what its temperament is like -- friendly, shy, nervous, good with children and/or other pets etc. Be honest with yourself so you can find the best new home for your dog.

Get your pit bull ready for adoption. Take it to the vet and make sure all its shots are up to date and it has a clean bill of health. Also, make sure your dog is fixed. According to Pit Bull Rescue Center, "spaying or neutering will also keep pit fighters away, as they are not interested in fighting a dog that can't be bred. Having the dog spayed or neutered is the best way to insure that a family who wants a best friend and family member will adopt your dog."

Call friends, family and breeders first. Instead of heading straight to the classifieds, ask around to see if anybody is looking for or would be willing to take in your pit bull. If you got your dog from a reputable breeder, call to see if he would take your pet back. Explain fully why you need to rehome your pet, including circumstances such as moving, allergies, aggression issues or new babies in the house. Some breeders may even offer suggestions that would allow you to keep your pet if you do not really want to give it up.

Contact local rescue groups. This is a long shot, as many rescue groups are already overwhelmed with dogs they are trying to find homes for, but sometimes they may have room or can offer suggestions to help point you in the right direction.

Advertise your pit bull. Many times, word of mouth will not go far enough. Placing an ad in the classifieds, on reputable rescue sites, vet office boards or other trusted online pet adoption sites is usually the easiest way to find a home for your dog.

Set an adoption fee when advertising, usually between £48-$150, as this will keep away people who want to use your pet for fighting or scientific purposes. The fee can also help offset your vet bill and shows that the new owner can afford to feed and take care of your dog.

Give a short description of your dog. List all the positive attributes, but do not exaggerate. Honesty in your ad is a must. If your dog is not good with other pets or needs special care, state that in the ad so potential owners have a clear picture of what they looking at even before calling you.

State any definite requirements for adopting your dog, such as fenced yard, no cats, no small children etc. Word it in a positive manner. Instead of saying "doesn't get along with other animals," you can say "should be only pet," or change "no small children" to "best with older children."

Require references and home visits. Let the potential new owners know that you will check references and will visit their home before you allow them to adopt your dog. This is a must to ensure your pit bull goes to a safe, loving home and does not end up in the hands of a dog fighter.

Screen applicants. Ask for full name, address and phone number. Find out if they are renting or own their home. Often times renters may want a dog, but the landlord will not allow one. If they are renting, get the name and number for the landlord so you can check to make sure it is allowable for the applicant to have a pit bull. Check to see that everyone in the household, spouses, roommates, children etc. are all on board with bringing in a pit bull to the home. Ask about current and prior pets. Especially check to see if they have ever owned a pit bull before. If so, find out how long they owned it and what happened to it. Find out why they specifically want a pit bull. Make sure you are comfortable with the answers they provide.

Visit the home. Once you have screened the applicants and are satisfied with their answers to your questions, arrange for a visit to the home with your dog. If they have other dogs, you should arrange to meet in a neutral territory first, as sometimes initial meetings can lead to hostility or fights, especially if the other dogs feel your dog is trying to move in on their territory. Make sure all members of the household are present during the home visit so everyone has a chance to interact with your dog.

Prepare your dog for its new home. Gather all medical records, vet information, rabies tag, toys, pet beds, leashes, collars, food dishes, food, medicine and all other belongings. Try to spend some extra time with your dog before it leaves and express your emotions then, so you can have a clearer head during the actual transition.

Take the dog to its new home and have the owners sign an adoption contract with a waiver of liability. This will help protect you and the dog. If you like, tell the new owners you would like to keep in touch and want to check on the dog once in a while. Also, tell them to contact you if the adoption is not working out.


Please be aware that there are unscrupulous people out there that may try to "adopt" your pit bull, but are really just looking for this breed so they can use them as bait or fighting dogs for fighting rings. Screening applicants and checking references is essential to finding a good, loving home for your dog.

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About the Author

Sandi Kelly Showalter became a professional freelance writer in 2008, in addition to her role as an entrepreneur. Her articles have appeared for Future Business Leaders of America and in such places as "Pipeline" and the websites EyeOnSoaps and BetterRVing. Showalter received her Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from the University of South Florida.