Finding Your Pet's Dream Owner
So you've made the decision to find a new owner for your pet.
Don't worry, it's nothing to be ashamed of. This isn't a place for judgment; it happens to the best of us. Maybe you're overwhelmed with the new responsibilities that came along with that fifth pet that came along with your brand new Premium membership, or maybe your shop isn't doing as well as you had hoped and you're a little low on funds. Sometimes, putting your beloved pet up for adoption is the best thing that you can do for both yourself and your pet. You're not alone. Many of us have crossed this same path during our time in Neopia, myself included.
To me, the most challenging part of putting a pet up for adoption is finding the right owner. What if your pet doesn't end up fitting in well with its new family? What if a potential owner is simply pretending that your pet is his or her dream pet and they actually end up just using them to trade up for that Maraquan Draik that they've had their eye on? The stress that comes along with the search for a new owner is unavoidable; however, my goal with this article is to make the adoption process a little easier for you by providing a step-by-step guide to finding your pet's dream owner.
Check adoption pages/wish lists
Many Neopians create Pet Pages consisting of a long list of users followed by their dream pets. If you are looking to find a new owner for your pet in a relatively short period of time, this might be the best option for you. Most of these Pet Pages can be organized by species/colour combination, making it easier for you to see how which users would be interested in adopting your pet. However, there are a few things you should consider before Neomailing one of these users. First of all, most of these wish lists don't have a prerequisite for being listed, meaning that these users might not be entirely honest about your Neopet being the pet of their dreams. Second, these wish lists, especially the more popular ones, are not updated constantly. There is a chance that you will find a user on one of these lists, decide that they would be the perfect owner for your pet, Neomail them, and get a response saying that they are no longer interested in your pet's species/colour combination. Third, remember that these users are interested in your pet solely for its species/colour combination, not its personality and skills. While this doesn't bother some Neopians, others will instantly turn away from this idea, as Neopets are more than what their appearance says about them.
Make a post on the Neopian Pound board
If you're not an avid Neopet trader, chances are that you typically try to steer clear of the Neopian Pound board. However, if you've decided not to adopt your pet out through a wish list, this is going to have to be your next step. Try to give your post an eye-catching title, perhaps by using some (but not overwhelming amounts of) emoticons, or maybe by quoting your favorite M*YNCI song that you know everybody loves. Convincing people that your post is worth reading is half of the battle. The next half, however, might be a little tricky: explaining exactly what you want in a new owner in 400 characters or less. Some people avoid this character limit by creating a Pet Page that explains who their pet is and what they are looking for in a new owner; I would highly recommend doing this, especially if your pet is one that will get many applications, such as a Draik, a Krawk, or an Unconverted pet. This will prevent you from explaining again and again what the requirements are for applications.
Decide what you want in an application
Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to get to know everyone who is interested in your pet on a personal level. Considering that one of these users is going to be welcoming your pet into his or her family in a short period of time, however, you most likely want to know more about the applicant, his or her Neopian family, any plans that he or she has for your pet, etcetera. For years, Neopians seeking a new owner for their pet have gathered this information through simple applications. On the Pet Page previously mentioned, consider explaining what information you want in an application without being too specific with the description of your ideal owner, as this could give applicants the ability to lie about themselves and their intentions for your pet.
Note: Keep in mind that you cannot require your applicants to submit Pet Page applications. If an applicant wants to submit such an application, inform them that they need to place a disclaimer on their application stating that they were not required to make that Pet Page.
Read your applications
Now comes the toughest part of adopting out your pet: reading all of the applications that came your way and making a decision. Make sure that you give each applicant the same amount of time an consideration to be fair; however, try your best not to pity any of the applicants and give them priority over others. Some applicants might write about how they have applied again and again for their dream pets and have never been chosen. Other times, you might see that one of your top applicants already has a Woodland Cybunny while another only has a Green Grarrl. While you can surely take this into consideration, remember that a person's past success (or failure) should not be the primary reason that you choose him or her as your pet's new owner. Remember that the user that you choose should not be someone that you would necessarily choose to be your Neofriend; instead, choose someone that you could see being your Neopet's best friend forever.
Congratulate the new owner
It's time for the best part of adopting out your pet: telling the user that you've chosen that you're ready to transfer your pet to them! The heartwarming feeling that you'll get from knowing that you've made his or her dreams come true is indescribable and makes all of your hard work well worth it. However, something a little more difficult comes along with this step: informing the other applicants that they have not been chosen. Many people with pets up for adoption avoid this step for their own benefit. While this is incredibly tempting, put yourself in the applicant's shoes. They might avoid applying for any other pets that they love in hope of adopting yours, possibly missing out on the pet that they are truly meant for. As challenging as it might be, muster up the courage to Neomail your applicants, thank them for their interest, and explain that they were not chosen for your pet. While some might not take this as well as others, in the end, they will be thankful for your honest.
The most difficult part of the adoption process is accepting that your pet is no longer yours. As you and your pet walk to the Neopian Pound to complete the User-to-User Transfer, remind yourself of why you chose this person to be your pet's new owner. Know that you are not being selfish by doing this and that your pet will be cared for and loved in its new home. You've made the right decision and as tough as it might be, don't second guess yourself. When you're in the Neopian Pound, hug your pet goodbye and send them off with their new owner. From now on, it's all about trust. Trust that you've made the right choice. Trust that the user that you've chosen will be the best possible owner for your pet. Trust that your pet will be happy in its new home. Just keep trusting and it'll all work out fine.
There you have it: a Neopian's Guide to Finding Your Pet's Dream Owner! It won't be an easy transition; it never is. However, you're not alone. Thousands of users have gone through the same process you have and would be willing to talk to you, if you need to. Simply venture onto the Neopian Pound board (if you dare), look around, and you're bound to find someone else who has gone, or is going through the same exact struggle that you are. Congratulations on adopting out your pet and the best of luck to you and your pet on your new and upcoming adventures!