Surrender Your Pet

At the Humane Society of Charlotte, we strive to find the appropriate placement for healthy and treatable animals in our care. We are also committed to helping pet owners keep their pets with their families whenever possible. We understand that sometimes that is not an option and the decision to surrender is not an easy one, so we aim to make this process successful for the pet. Please read all of the information on this page before submitting a surrender request.

First: A member of our intake team will need to perform a physical and behavioral assessment to determine if your animal is a candidate for our adoption program.

Second: We do not accept animals demonstrating or with a history of severe bite or extreme behavior into our adoption program. All other behaviors are evaluated and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Alternatives to Surrendering Your Pet:

Sometimes, families find themselves in situations where caring for an animal is no longer a possibility. Choose to re-home a pet can be an incredibly difficult decision. The Humane Society of Charlotte is here to provide advice and resources for people who are searching for a new home for their pet.

The shelter environment can be inherently stressful, so your pet may be more successful if you rehome your pet yourself. Consider the following tips to increase your chances of successfully rehoming your pet:

  • Give yourself time to re-home your pet. It can often take weeks to months to find the best home.
  • Increase your pet’s adoptability by having it spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines, and groomed.
  • Utilize your social media and neighborhood apps to spread the word. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers to help.
  • HSC supports the AdoptAPet.com service that allows you to list your animal for free and determine the next best adopter for your dog or cat. This is a great solution if you have a little more time to rehome your animal.
  • Use caution when considering unknown individuals or families as your pet’s new owners. Hold the initial meeting in a public place and ask open-ended questions to screen potential adopters.
    • Tell me about the other pets in your home?
    • When the animal is home without you, where will it be?
    • How will you manage any medical concerns that may arise?
  • Share your expectations for your pet’s new home. If you wish to stay in touch with your pet’s new family, make that clear upfront.
  • NEVER ABANDON YOUR ANIMAL. It is illegal to dump your animal, even at a shelter. If you need to rehome your animal immediately, please call your local Animal Control facility and they will facilitate your surrender immediately.

During the assessment

  • We will determine if your animal is healthy and behaviorally sound.
  • We will discuss with you various resources to assist you with keeping your pet or rehoming your pet on your own (help with the cost of care, food and/or supplies, etc.). This process can take 30 minutes to an hour.

After the assessment has been completed

  • Our staff will provide you with the options available for your pet.
    • If your pet has been accepted for our adoption program, we will set up a surrender date and discuss the fees associated with surrendering your pet. Surrender dates are typically scheduled 2-3 weeks after the assessment.
    • If your pet has not been accepted into our adoption program we will review the other services we offer with you, as well as examining other rehoming options you may be able to explore for your pet. Please understand that many animals WILL NOT do well in a shelter setting. We want your animal to be successful in finding an alternative home. If they are too overwhelmed during the evaluation, the likelihood of them being successful is less. We will provide you with other rehoming options outside of the shelter system.
    • Additionally, if your animal is suffering medically or behaviorally and treatment is not a viable option, our trained staff can counsel you through those end-of-life decisions and provide you with resources for end-of-life care.

A member of our staff will contact you to discuss making an appointment for the assessment. If you are under a strict timeline for rehoming your pet, please mention this to the staff member assisting you as other resources may be needed in rehoming your pet. All assessments are by appointment only Tuesday through Saturday, times will vary depending on staff availability.

After determining an assessment time and date, we will send you the link to pay the $20 assessment fee to reserve your appointment time. This fee is non-refundable; if you choose to cancel your appointment this fee will be deposited as a donation to our behavior program so we can continue to provide these services to our community. If your animal is accepted into the adoption program, the assessment fee will be deducted from the surrender fee. After the fee has been received, we will send you an email confirming your appointment date and time.

Behavioral Help

The Humane Society of Charlotte offers behavioral counseling and assistance to help you resolve whatever behavioral concerns you may be experiencing. Sometimes pet owners feel they don’t have a choice but to surrender their pet due to behavioral concerns in the home (i.e. pets not getting along, destructive behaviors, aggression, etc.). Please email training@humanecharlotte.org to set up a time for a behavior consultation to discuss the particular concerns you are experiencing and see if we can find an alternative to surrender and to keep them with you, their family. If you want assistance and are willing to work on the challenges, please let us know and we can set up an appointment to start working with you and your pet.

Submit A Surrender Request

If you are considering surrendering your pet, our staff will work with you to help you navigate this difficult process. Please fill out the appropriate form below to submit your surrender request. A member of our intake team will contact you within 96 hours regarding setting up an evaluation.

Dog Surrender Form

Cat Surrender Form

Kitten (less than 6 months old) Surrender Form