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sickboston3We have a dog we can no longer keep.  A neighbor gave him to us, but we just do not like this dog!


Make sure you have explored all of your options for keeping your pet before you make this difficult decision. It is a decision that is likely not only to disrupt the pet’s emotional stability and routine, but also members of your family unit, especially children who may not be able to comprehend or accept why a loved family member must leave.



When you decide this is what you need to do: here is what you need to know


Contact local shelters/humane societies about their owner surrender policies.

Some areas have no options, they only have one shelter. Other areas offer many shelters including some “No-Kill” shelters where pets are kept indefinitely until they are adopted. It must be noted that no-kill shelters are often recommended for people surrendering dogs, but they often refuse dogs they deemed non adoptable, or when they are full.



 If you are thinking about surrendering to a local shelter, ask that the shelter please contact you before he/she is euthanized so you can re-claim them.

 While some animals are lucky enough to be adopted from shelters, don’t delude yourself: many are killed within days because there are too few adopters for the thousands of worthy animals hoping for a good home.

 Owner turn-ins are often the first to die in some government funded shelters – often within 24 hours – with the rationale that if the owner does not want them why would anyone else?


Since it is harder to place adult dogs and certain breeds many municipal and county ran shelters have the following or similar polices. It takes a lot of taxpayer money to run a shelter. They do not have a lot of manpower or kennel space to just house pets.



Be aware that dogs over the age of 4 are generally euthanized automatically. Also know that the American Bulldog is generally considered a "pit type" breed and will not be put up for adoption.  There are several other breeds besides American Bulldogs and Pit Bulls that are on this automatic PTS list in some areas of the country.

Before you physically take the dog to the shelter, call them. There may be a particular day of the week, or time of the day, that they would prefer you to bring your dog in. If there is a health outbreak they may request you wait. Some shelters keep waiting lists of people looking for certain kinds of dogs so they may put you in touch with somebody prior to your bringing the dog to them.

 What you Should Know:
"Once your pet is surrendered, he becomes the property of the shelter. We realize that surrendering your pet is an emotional decision which you have made and it would not be responsible of us to return an animal to someone who has told us that they are unable or unwilling to provide care for their pet."






  • There are over 164 million pet dogs and cats in the United States. Of these, 1 in every 20 will end up in a shelter by the end of the year.
  • Roughly every 8 seconds, a cat or dog is sent to an animal shelter.
  • There are currently about 8 million abandoned, stray and unwanted pets living in animal shelters in the United States alone.
  • Roughly 5 out of every 10 dogs sent to an animal shelter will be euthanized.
  • Each year, between 3-4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep in shelters across the United States.
  • Only 15-20% of dogs who enter a shelter are returned to their owners.
  • More than 25% of shelter dogs are purebred.
  • Nearly 35% of dogs are purchased from breeders and pet stores.
  • Roughly 20-30% of pet cats and dogs are adopted from shelters or rescues.
  • More than 20% of shelter dogs are brought in by owners who adopted from a shelter.
  • On average, only 10% of pets brought in to shelters have been spayed or neutered.
  • The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising a puppy for one year.
  • The average cost to own a dog for one year is $600-$900.
  • The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that the #1 reason dogs are relinquished to shelters is moving.
  • The #2 reason is landlord issues.
  • Pets relinquished to animal shelters have been found more likely to be intact, younger, and mixed bred than pets kept in homes.
  • People relinquishing animals have been found to be significantly more likely to be men and younger than 35 years old.

Prior to making the decision to surrender a pet, please keep in mind that many shelters do not have space or can promise that your family pet is adoptable. We also must ask that you do not list your pet on craigsist or other such places. Why you might ask... To understand our pleas not to do this, read this.

 Similar Topics you might like:


10 common reasons dogs end up in shelters
Help I can’t keep my dog 
Original Purpose of Animal "Control" Shelters, that you might not know 

Edited by:  Jan Mitchell