Before You Surrender

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?

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 can get you started. 

The resource below contains valuable tips to assist you with your search:


For additional assistance, 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. Click the link below to see a full list:

Low-Cost Wellness and Veterinary Clinics

There are also options for getting assistance with food, supplies, and 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.


Resources for Pet Owners

Surrendering Your Animal to the Shelter

We understand that surrendering to the shelter is the last option left for many pet owners. To surrender an animal, please use this link to fill out our surrender form. 


It’s important that you fill out this form to the best of your ability with as many details as possible. This will give your animal the best chance of finding a new home.

Please keep in mind:

  1. Before we can take custody of your animal, we require the submission of a surrender form. If you have multiple animals, please fill out a form for each animal.

  2. Once your form is submitted, our intake team will reach out to you within 3-5 days with follow-up questions and next steps.

  3. To offset the costs of caring for your animal while they’re in our care, we ask that all surrenderers pay a fee at the time of surrender. We accept cash or card: 

    • Large Dogs (greater than 25 lbs) - $200

    • Small Dogs (less than 25 lbs) - $50

    • Domestic Cats - $50

  4. When you arrive for your surrender appointment, please bring your photo ID and any medical records you have for the animal. You must be 18 years old to surrender an animal.



Managed Open Admission

We do not turn animals away based on age or health. We are a small shelter and have limited space, so we accept animals as space is available. Your animal may have a better prognosis or be accepted sooner at a different shelter. Our staff can work with you to find the best pathway for your animal in the event that our shelter is not the best placement for them.

Once your surrender form is submitted you may be added to a waitlist until we have space for your animal. When there is space available, you will receive a call from one of our staff members to schedule your surrender. While you wait, please explore the resources listed above for keeping or rehoming your animal  

 Sick or Injured

If your animal is sick or badly injured, the safest and most humane option may be to turn your animal in for euthanasia. Please consult a veterinarian or behavior specialist before considering this option.  We may be able to provide this service for you at a lower cost than a general vet practice. If you decide to go with this option and would like to seek this service at Morris Animal Refuge, please call us at 215-735-9570 to speak with a staff member to discuss your options. We are unable to provide medical emergency services.