Giving Up A Pet

We know that sometimes it’s just not possible to keep a pet.  But before making the decision to surrender a pet, please consider all your options.  Reach out to friends and relatives who might be able to give the pet a loving home. All animals are welcome at our shelter, as long as we have space available. We do not euthanize cats or dogs unless there is a serious health or behavior problem, and there is no time limit for any animal. We don’t euthanize because of lack of space and spend thousands of dollars every year treating medical problems and working with certain behavior issues to make animals adoptable. We will not place an animal for adoption, however, that is a danger to the community.

If you must surrender a pet, please follow the advice below. The Montgomery County SPCA works hard to place all adoptable animals in new homes.

Do’s and Don’ts

If you have to give up your pet, please do the right thing. DON’T drop your pet off in the woods or countryside, assuming that it can take care of itself. Pets lack the skills to survive on their own and will die of starvation or injury.

DON’T abandon your pet in a house or apartment you are moving out of, thinking that someone will eventually find it. This doesn’t always happen.

DON’T give your pet away to a stranger. You don’t know if that person is a responsible owner or even an honest person. Pets that end up in the wrong hands may be abused or sold to research laboratories.

DO try to place your pet with a trusted family member or friend, one who you are confident will love and care for your pet properly and will keep you informed of its welfare. Be sure the friend or relative understands the commitment of time and resources your pet requires and that they would like the pet because it will be a good fit for their home. Shelters receive many pets from people who knew the previous owners and wanted to help them by taking in a pet, but who did so without realizing the efforts involved in keeping the animal.  DO bring your pet to the MCSPCA if you have exhausted all other possibilities. Call us first. Normally, our cages are full and we have a waiting list to accept new pets.

What to Expect

Surrendering ownership of your pet

If you have decided to give your pet to the shelter, you will be asked to sign a release form giving the MCSPCA legal ownership of the animal. Once you have signed the release statement, you may not reclaim your pet, so please be sure that you have made the right decision for you and your pet. Please bring any medical records you have for your pet. If you don’t have records, give us the name of the animal hospital you use so we can request records to give to the new owner.  We will ask you information about the pet’s health, behavior, habits, likes, and dislikes. This is really helpful to people considering your pet for adoption and helps us decide what kind of home would be best.  Please be honest when answering these questions; let us know if your pet has a history of biting, refuses to use the litter box, has a serious or chronic medical condition, or any other problem. Your answers help to determine whether or not your animal should be put up for adoption. It is unfair to pass on severe behavioral or medical issues to another family.