Surrendering an Animal

Surrendering your pet is a momentous decision for you, and quite literally a life or death decision for them. It’s important you do your research to make an informed choice. If your pet’s behavioral issues are the cause for you giving them up, contact us to speak with our fantastic trainer Jamie Diaz. If your living situation changes and you are unable to care for your pet any longer, contact us so we can put you in touch with the wonderful animal rescue groups we work with. If you decide to re-home your animal individually – without the help of a shelter – please remember:

It is a death sentence to give away your pet to a stranger. This is because of the rampant animal abuse at the hands of those looking for free “bait” to use in dog fighting. The individuals looking for a free bait dog or cat are deceptive and skilled at convincing pet owners that they have the animal’s best interest at heart. A nominal adoption fee will typically weed out most of these criminals, but not always, which is why a home visit is always a good idea. Better yet, re-home your animal with a trusted friend or family member who you know can guarantee your pet’s safety.

Surrendering an animal should be viewed only as a last resort, and only after you’ve attempted to place your animal immediately into another loving home. Please read these tips, from PAWS Chicago, about how to find a truly respectable and trustworthy shelter and temporary home for your pet.

If you want to ensure that your pet does not become one of the thousands of dogs and cats that will be killed this year, do your homework before surrendering your pet to a shelter. Here are a few tips on how to determine if a shelter is committed to the life of each pet admitted:

  • Does the shelter call itself No Kill? If so, your pet will most likely be adopted into a new home. If not, this is a strong indicator that the shelter utilizes killing as a space management tool.
  • What is the shelter’s definition of “adoptable” and “unadoptable”?
  • Before placing an animal on the adoption floor, some shelters may categorize whether an animal is “adoptable” or “unadoptable.” These categorizations are defined differently within each institution. And while your pet may appear perfectly adoptable to you, sometimes age (too young or too old), dental issues, shyness, or coming down with a common cold will fall outside a shelter’s “adoptable” guidelines and may lead to your pet’s death. Clarifying how a shelter defines these terms will give you better insight as to whether your pet will be adopted into a new home or killed.
  • Do you have to make an appointment to surrender your pet? It is a good indication that shelters are committed to the life of every animal when they only admit by appointment. Shelters that accept “walk-ins” are most likely killing to make space for the unmanaged flow of animals into their facility.
  • Read the fine print! In surrender/relinquishment contracts, it is important to read all fine print before you sign over ownership of your pet. Often, critical information about euthanasia/killing policies can be found there.
  • If a situation arises, will the shelter call you before they kill your pet? When a shelter reserves euthanasia only for pets that are irremediably suffering or for incidences of aggression, euthanasia is a rare occurrence that is taken very seriously. As a result, these No Kill shelters will often be willing to contact you if such a situation arises. If a shelter is unwilling to inform you of a potential euthanasia, it may be an indication that the shelter commonly utilizes killing.