where to surrender gerbils

How to Surrender Gerbils

Reasons for Surrendering Gerbils

Health issues: Sometimes, gerbils or their caretakers may face health problems such as allergies, infections, or chronic diseases. These issues might make it challenging for gerbils and caretakers to coexist, necessitating considerable time and money for treatment. Surrendering gerbils in such situations is a choice to protect both the gerbils and their caretakers’ health, yet it brings significant psychological stress and harm.

Changes in family environment: Caretakers might experience changes in their family environment due to work, study, travel, or relocation, affecting housing conditions, family members, and pet rules. These changes can impact gerbils’ quality of life, including space, food, toys, and companionship. If caretakers cannot provide a suitable environment for gerbils or relocate them to a new place, surrendering the gerbils may become a necessary choice, causing both gerbils and caretakers to feel lost and lonely.

Financial stress: Economic difficulties such as unemployment, debt, or increased expenses may affect caretakers’ ability to provide basic necessities for gerbils, including food, water, bedding, and medical care. If caretakers cannot afford the living expenses for gerbils or feel that gerbils bring additional burdens, surrendering them may be an unavoidable choice, causing feelings of guilt and sadness for both gerbils and caretakers.

Behavioral issues in gerbils: Gerbils may exhibit undesirable behaviors like biting, fighting, vocalizations, or escaping, impacting the safety and comfort of caretakers and the household. These behaviors can result from factors such as gerbils’ personality, age, gender, health, environment, and training. If caretakers cannot improve gerbils’ behavior or accept it, surrendering gerbils might be a straightforward choice, leading to disappointment and frustration for both gerbils and caretakers.

Finding Suitable Placement for Surrendered Gerbils

Surrendering gerbils does not mean casually discarding or abandoning them, which is irresponsible, inhumane, and illegal. The correct approach involves finding new owners or institutions capable of providing a good living environment and care for gerbils. Here are methods and considerations for finding suitable placement:

Animal Shelters:

Understand the shelter’s role and procedures, including location, contact information, operating hours, fees, admission policies, and rehoming methods.

Contact nearby shelters to inquire about their capacity, requirements, and expectations for gerbils.
Choose a reputable and experienced shelter, preferably specializing in gerbil care, ensuring proper care and attention.
Pet Stores:

Learn about the pet store’s acceptance policies, including the types of gerbils they accept and the conditions and criteria for acceptance.
Communicate with store staff or owners, providing information about the gerbil’s name, personality, preferences, and habits.
Select a responsible and legal pet store, preferably specializing in gerbil sales and acquisitions, ensuring a higher chance of successful rehoming.
Professional Gerbil Breeders or Keepers:

Find contact information for professional gerbil breeders or keepers through online searches, pet magazines, exhibitions, or pet associations.
Contact them to inquire about their willingness and conditions for accepting gerbils, including requirements for breed, age, gender, health, and quantity.
Choose a reputable and certified breeder or keeper, ensuring gerbils receive excellent care and potential improvement of breed characteristics.
Friends and Family:

Identify friends or family members willing and capable of accepting gerbils, considering their attitudes, experiences, time, and resources.
Communicate extensively, sharing information about the gerbil’s special needs, such as food, water, toys, and companionship.
Select a responsible and caring recipient, preferably with relevant knowledge and skills, ensuring ongoing communication about the gerbil’s well-being.
Regardless of the chosen placement method, preparations should be made to ensure a smooth transition for gerbils, leaving them with positive memories. Pack essential items like food, water, bowls, bottles, cages, bedding, and toys to provide comfort and reduce stress. Additionally, consider including special items such as photos, letters, or mementos to convey love and gratitude, fostering a connection and memories between caretakers and gerbils.

Provide detailed information about gerbils. You need to offer comprehensive details about your gerbil, such as its name, gender, age, breed, fur color, weight, health condition, vaccination status, sterilization status, microchip implantation, etc. This information allows new owners or organizations to understand the gerbil’s basic background, providing necessary medical care and protection. You can also provide additional information about the gerbil’s personality, preferences, habits, stories, characteristics, etc. This extra information helps new owners or organizations understand the gerbil’s individuality and needs, providing attention and care.

Arrange a safe transportation method. You must organize a secure mode of transportation for your gerbil, such as a car, train, plane, bus, etc. This transportation should enable the gerbil to reach its new destination quickly and smoothly, minimizing fear and danger. Prepare an appropriate transport carrier, like a cage, box, or bag, ensuring the gerbil has sufficient space and ventilation, protecting it from external disturbances and harm. Affix the gerbil’s name and contact details on the transport carrier to prevent loss or emergencies.

After placing your gerbil in its new environment, concerns may arise about its adaptation to the new surroundings and owner, as well as maintaining contact with the gerbil. Here are some methods and considerations to help your gerbil adjust to its new home:

How to help gerbils adapt to a new environment. Provide useful advice to new owners or organizations, such as arranging a comfortable and safe habitat for the gerbil, offering suitable and sufficient food and water, selecting and providing interesting and appropriate toys, finding and arranging compatible and friendly companions, scheduling necessary and regular medical care and vaccinations, and engaging in gentle and appropriate petting and interaction. Also, provide useful materials and resources, like gerbil care guides, FAQs, and vet contact information. Choose new owners or organizations that are likely to follow your advice and resources, preferably maintaining communication to update you on the gerbil’s adaptation or providing an opportunity for you to meet the gerbil.

Maintain contact and offer ongoing support. Keep in touch with new owners or organizations, inquiring about the gerbil’s life and health, as well as their feelings and evaluations. Provide ongoing support and assistance, answering questions and addressing concerns, offering advice and opinions, sharing experiences and stories, and giving encouragement and praise. Choose new owners or organizations that are willing to stay in contact, fostering a friendly and trusting relationship, or allowing you the chance to meet the gerbil.


Sometimes, gerbils may face incurable illnesses or severe injuries leading to a significant reduction in their quality of life or unbearable pain and suffering. In such cases, abandoning the gerbil might not be a suitable option as it may not receive adequate medical care and attention in a new place, potentially burdening new owners or organizations. Humane euthanasia could be a better choice, allowing the gerbil to peacefully end its life and providing the caregiver with a respectful and compassionate farewell. Here are some methods and considerations for euthanasia:

When to consider euthanasia. Engage in thorough communication with a vet to understand the gerbil’s condition, prognosis, life quality, and pain levels. Discuss possible treatment options, preventive measures, and their effectiveness and side effects with the vet. Consider euthanasia under the vet’s guidance, taking into account the gerbil’s interests, feelings, your capabilities, and emotions. Contemplate euthanasia while the gerbil’s condition is manageable or before its suffering surpasses your tolerance, allowing the gerbil to avoid additional distress and providing you with more time and opportunities to say goodbye.

Methods and process of euthanasia. Collaborate with the vet to decide on an appropriate euthanasia method and process, usually through injecting a drug inducing rapid unconsciousness and heart cessation or through inhalation of a gas causing swift unconsciousness and respiratory cessation. Determine a suitable time and place for euthanasia, typically at the vet clinic, your home, or another familiar and comfortable location. Choose a method and process ensuring the gerbil feels secure and relaxed, preferably in your arms or vicinity, or with familiar and beloved items like food, water, toys, or companions.

How to accompany gerbils in their final moments. Before euthanasia, provide the gerbil with special care and companionship, preparing delicious and nutritious food and water, offering interesting and suitable toys and activities, arranging compatible and friendly companions and interactions, providing gentle and affectionate petting and kissing, saying warm and appreciative words, and capturing beautiful and unforgettable photos. Choose a form of care and companionship bringing joy and satisfaction to the gerbil, ensuring it knows your love and gratitude, leaving behind happy and memorable memories.

Psychological Support

Abandoning gerbils can be an emotionally challenging and distressing decision, impacting the caregiver’s psychological well-being with emotions like sadness, guilt, self-blame, loss, loneliness, anger, and depression. While these feelings are normal and reasonable, persistent or intense emotions may affect daily life and work, potentially leading to severe psychological issues like anxiety, fear, or suicide. Seeking professional psychological support becomes crucial, offering expert assistance, guidance, and effective coping mechanisms. Here are some suggestions and considerations for seeking professional psychological support:

Find a suitable mental health professional. Identify appropriate mental health experts like psychologists, counselors, or therapists, possessing professional knowledge, skills, and facilities to offer diagnosis, assessment, counseling, and treatment. Gather this information through online searches, phone consultations, or on-site visits. Contact them, inquire about availability and conditions for receiving assistance, and understand their requirements and expectations regarding your condition, goals, budget, etc. Choose a reputable and experienced mental health professional, preferably one specializing in handling psychological issues related to pet loss, ensuring better assistance and guidance.

Establish trust and cooperation with mental health professionals. Build a relationship of trust and cooperation with mental health professionals, making it easier to express your emotions and thoughts, allowing them to accurately understand your situation and needs. Maintain regular contact and communication, attend scheduled activities like diagnosis, assessment, counseling, and treatment, honestly answer their questions, actively follow their advice, and provide feedback on your feelings and progress. Choose a mental health professional who keeps in touch and communicates effectively, preferably establishing a friendly and respectful relationship or providing opportunities for interaction with other caregivers.

Maintain a positive and open mindset. Preserve a positive and open mindset, facilitating acceptance and adaptation to the psychological support process and enabling a quicker recovery and improvement in your psychological well-being. Recognize that abandoning your gerbil is not your fault or weakness but a choice and an act of courage made for the gerbil’s happiness and well-being. Believe that your gerbil can find happiness and peace in its new environment, and trust that you can discover joy and meaning in your new life. Accept your emotions and thoughts, embrace professional help and guidance, allocate time and space for self-care, offer yourself care and rewards, stay connected with family and friends, and maintain support and memories of your gerbil. Choose a psychological support approach that keeps you positive and open, providing comfort and satisfaction, or offering opportunities to meet your gerbil.


Abandoning gerbils is a process that requires careful consideration, affecting not only the gerbil’s life but also the caregiver’s psychological well-being. Therefore, before making this decision, caregivers should explore alternative solutions. If these alternatives prove unsuccessful or if the caregiver is determined, finding a suitable rehoming option is crucial to ensure the gerbil finds a new happy home. Additionally, caregivers should prepare both the gerbil and themselves for the transition, leaving behind cherished memories. In cases where a gerbil faces incurable illnesses or severe injuries, causing a significant decline in its quality of life or unbearable pain, caregivers should contemplate humane euthanasia to allow the gerbil to peacefully end its life. Seeking professional psychological support becomes essential for caregivers dealing with the emotional impact of abandoning gerbils, offering assistance in recovery and coping mechanisms. In conclusion, I want to commend you as a responsible and caring gerbil caregiver. You provided a warm and joyful home for your gerbil and made a reasonable and compassionate decision for its well-being. Be proud of yourself. The love and gratitude between you and your gerbil will never fade, the memories and stories between you two will never be forgotten, and the connection and relationship will never be severed. I hope you find happiness and meaning in your new life, and I wish your gerbil a happy and peaceful life in its new place. If you need any help or support, I’m always here. Goodbye.

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