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January 01, 2015
orange kitten in a shelter kennel in a blue blanket

Surrendering a Pet

Surrendering an animal is a serious decision that will affect you and your animal for the rest of their life. While shelters do their best to provide excellent care, even the best shelter isn’t a natural environment for a housepet. We hope we can assist you with alternatives that can help you keep your pet or bypass the shelter system entirely.


When having an issue with an animal, whether it’s behavioral, medical, or a life circumstance, it can seem insurmountable. But before surrendering an animal to a shelter, check out the following resources to see if we can assist you with keeping or rehoming your animal. This will be best for your animal, as well as the next animal who truly has nowhere else to go.


How can I bypass the shelter? All goes in the light blue box.

To bypass the shelter system, your best bets are to rehome your animal or connect with a rescue. This process can take several weeks depending on the animal you’re trying to rehome, but it’s worth it to ensure the best outcome for your animal. The following links, as well as the attached file can get you started. 

The PDF at the bottom of thie article contains valuable tips to assist you with your search. For additional assistance with rehoming your animal, please email


What should I do if I cannot afford medical care, or food/supplies for my animal?

There are several low-cost wellness and full-service veterinary clinics in the Philadelphia area. Seet the PDF at the bottom of this article for a full list.

There are also options for getting assistance with food and supplies and with medical care. Click below to learn more:


What should I do if my pet is exhibiting behavior issues?

Often behavior issues can be addressed with minor changes to your routine or household. We can assist you with troubleshooting minor behavioral issues or referring you to appropriate resources for more severe problems. 

Animals with behavior issues typically have the hardest time adjusting to the shelter, so these are the animals we are most concerned with keeping out of the shelters.

Please email for further assistance. 


What should I do if I’m moving or otherwise experiencing a lifestyle change that will prevent me from keeping my animal?

We get it -- life happens! And we know you want the best for your animal. If your life change is anticipated, we recommend doing everything possible to rehome your animal on your own. 

If your lifestyle change is temporary (military deployment, hospitalization, etc.) please see the following link to look into finding a temporary foster home for your animal:


In cases of moving, we can sometimes assist with navigating rental policies on having animals or finding pet-friendly housing. Please email for further assistance.