round cat
Humane Ohio logo

Join Our Mailing List
considerations family pet

Visit these pages for more information about finding or caring for a pet:

Surrendering a pet
Few things are more traumatic for a dog or cat than losing his/her family. Regardless of the reason, you should follow a few guidelines to ensure your pet is placed in a safe home. Click here to download the "Finding a New Home for Your Pet" fact sheet with helpful tips, then read below for even more information.

If you are considering surrendering your pet because of problem behavior:

1. Is your pet spayed or neutered? This simple procedure can have a dramatic impact on some behaviors. Humane Ohio offers low-cost spay/neuter to any pet parent in Ohio or Michigan.

2. Consult with an animal behaviorist or trainer listed under our Helpful Phone Numbers and Links page. Many of these classes and consultations are inexpensive and yet have amazing results. The Toledo Area Humane Society offers a free Behavior Helpline. Also be sure to check out our pet behavior page where we link to helpful materials on just about every behavior problem imaginable.

3. Discuss the problem with your veterinarian. Your vet may be able to suggest a training method or a medication to eliminate the problem.

Keep in mind that if you don't want to deal with the problem, a stranger won't want to deal with it either -- and might even become abusive to the dog or cat. In the end, if you don't solve the problem, the dog or cat might be considered unacceptable and euthanized.

If you are considering surrendering your pet for any other reason:

1. Place an ad in the Toledo Blade. Be responsible to have any pet spayed or neutered before he or she leaves your care.  Puppies and kittens can be spayed or neutered at eight weeks of age if they weigh at least two pounds (kittens) or two to four pounds (puppies; weight requirement depends on the breed). Things to remember are:

  • Don't give a pet away for free. People collect free dogs and cats and sell to research, dog fighting groups, etc. Charging an adoption fee is like giving your pet an insurance policy.
  • Do a home visit with anyone who is considering adopting your family member, and use their veterinarian as a reference check.

2. Post a flyer with your pet's picture, height, weight, breed and personality traits at your vet's office, groomers, pet supply stores, grocery stores, coffee shops, work place, etc.

3. If your pet is a dog, contact a dog rescue group for assistance and advice. There are breed specific rescues (for example, Boxer Haven Rescue or the Pug Rescue Network). Be aware that rescue groups get many calls every day from people wanting to surrender their dog. Animal shelters and rescue groups can only do so much; they're often all volunteers and foster homes, and when they're full, they cannot magically create space. You must take an active role in rehoming your pet. It takes time (so do not wait until the day before you're moving to start contacting rescue groups!), patience and hard work. Your pet deserves nothing less.

4. Contact local shelters/humane societies about their owner surrender policies. These numbers can be found on our Adoptions page. Be aware that it is much more difficult for shelters to place older animals; unsocialized, feral/wild cats and kittens are almost always killed immediately in shelters because they are not adoptable.

Remember, if you must place your pet in another home, you yourself are in a better position to do this than most animal shelters and rescue groups. Knowing your pet's temperament, you can screen potential families and identify the best match for your pet. And you can ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, without any time spent in strange and traumatic circumstances.



Contact Humane Ohio:
3131 Tremainsville Road, Toledo OH 43613
We are a 501c3 non-profit organization.