It is the mission of Lighthouse Boxer Rescue to assist Boxer Dogs who find themselves homeless, hungry, neglected and/or abused; to educate the public on responsible pet care, training and breeding; to offer services that will help reunite lost dogs with their owners; we are committed to helping these souls regardless of age, color or condition.

Rehoming Your Dog

Few things are more traumatic for a dog than losing his/her family.  Regardless the reason, you should follow a few guidelines to ensure your dog is placed in a safe home.  And it's a reality that if the dog does go into a shelter, there's a good chance that he/she may never come out.  Consider this decision carefully.

If you are considering surrendering your dog because of problem behavior:

1.   Is the dog spayed or neutered?  This simple procedure can have a dramatic impact on some behaviors, and there are low-cost spay/neuter operations in Ohio.

2.   Consult with an animal behaviorist, dog trainer or obedience school.   Many of these classes and consultations are very inexpensive and yet have amazing results.  We recommend Fortunate Fido for training and Dr. Elizabeth Feltes, at The Behavioral Clinic for more severe issues.

3.  Discuss the problem with your vet.  Your vet may be able to suggest a training method or even a medication to eliminate the problem.

Keep in mind that if you don't want to deal with the problem, a stranger won't want to deal with it either -- and might even become abusive to the dog.   You might also be liable for undesirable and/or undisclosed behavior.  In the end, if you don't solve the problem, the dog might be considered unacceptable and euthanized.

If you are considering surrendering your dog for any other reason:

1.  Be responsible enough to have any dog spayed/neutered before he/she leaves your care.  Even puppies at 8 wks can be spayed/neutered . Make sure he is up to date on required vaccines.

2.  Don't give a dog away for free. People collect free dogs and sell to research, dog  fighting groups etc... Charging an adoption fee is like giving your dog an insurance policy. 

3.  Do a home visit, vet reference check to anyone who is considering adopting your family member.

4.  Post a flier with the dog's picture, height, weight, breed, personality traits, at your vet office, groomers, pet stores, grocery stores, coffee shops, work place etc.  Lighthouse Boxer Rescue will be happy to post a listing for your neutered/spayed, up to date on vaccines, dog on our Petfinder site, so that you may do your own adoption.

5.  Do NOT post your dog in the paper or on Craigslist.  These are places that less scrupulous people frequent.

6.  Contact a dog rescue group for assistance and advise.  There are breed specific rescues. Be aware that rescue groups get many calls every day of people wanting to surrender their dog who is like their "child" and must deal with good and bad reasons for surrendering of dogs...You must help yourself to help this dog.  Rescues can only do so much. We are regular working people just like you, who do rescue because we love dogs. Rescue is a volunteer activity and rescue people commit countless hours helping homeless dogs.  


7.  Contact local shelters/humane societies about their owner surrender policies.   Be aware that most shelters are NOT no kill shelters.  Even the ones that say they are no kill will still euthanize for space, health and temperament issues. 

Remember, if you must place your dog in another home, you are in a better position to do this than most rescue groups.  Knowing the dog's temperament, you can screen potential families and identify the best match for your dog.  And you can ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, without any time spent in strange and traumatic circumstances.

If you would like personal assistance with rehoming your dog  you can contact Renee at for more information, or see the following.


Screening Potential Families for your Dog

You are in the best position to find your dog a new home that is right for him (and be sure his new family feels the same way).  By being honest about your dog and asking a few questions, you'll be sure that your dog and his new family are a good long-term match.

 Ohio has many individuals who abuse and neglect animals.  There is an active network in Ohio that funnels hundreds of pets from "free to good home" fliers and ads into laboratory research and dog fighting rings, where they suffer slow agonies and a painful death.    YOU OWE IT TO YOUR DOG to get him/her spayed/neutered before they leave your care.  Don't add to the problem of overpopulation that rescues are fighting so hard everyday.  And by spaying/neutering your dog, you decrease their health risks.

1.  Visit at their house, making it clear that this is just a visit.  Do not plan to leave the dog!  

2.  Ask questions!  Keep in mind that this not only gives you some additional information, but it also makes sure that they have made a thoughtful decision.   Ask:

     a.  Have they ever had a dog before.  If so, what happened to the dog(s)?

     b.  Do they have a fenced yard.  If not, how will the dog be controlled when outside?

     c.  Where will the dog sleep?  Where will the dog be when alone in home?

     d.  Have they considered the costs involved (food, medical bills etc.)?

3.  Give potential families a realistic picture of the dog's temperament and history, and be sure that you are comfortable with their ability to work with it.  Consider:

     a. Activity level (and any unusual habits like bolting or jumping)

     b. Level of training

     c. Health history (and be sure to provide a vaccination record)

     d. Good with children?  Other pets?

     e. Other habits (chewer, likes to sleep in bed, etc.)

4.  Verify their contact information.  Try to get a home and a work phone.

5.  Ask potential families what veterinarian they have used in the past, and call him/her.  Ask if the family has consistently provided required health care (vaccinations, spay/neuter, etc).

6.  If the family rents, contact their landlord to verify that dogs are allowed.

7.  Charge a fee (if you'd prefer, donate it to a rescue/shelter).  This helps ensure that the potential adopter isn't a buncher (a person who collects free dogs and sells to research) and the person/family is willing to pay for necessary medical expenses, food etc.