Long Story Short - we RARELY do them.
We are not here to make it easier for you to abandon your animal.
If we take your owner surrender, a shelter animal dies.
Think about it. Really think about it.
We have a limited number of foster homes and millions of shelter animals die every year. We prefer to pull from shelters as those animals have NOBODY where your animal has you.
Also, we have to be on the other side of a surrender. Owners walk away and we are left with a terrified animal - we have to watch that animal panic, look for you as the owner, and fall into a depression as they realize they have been abandoned. Some animals take it better than others. But it’s never easy on our volunteers or fosters and we have to protect their mental health as well.
There are very very few legitimate reasons to surrender an animal. Examples could be an owner takes a fall and is physically unable to care for an animal, military deployment, moving out of the country (not moving in the same city find housing that will take a pet).
If you do feel you need to surrender your animal, making sure that animal is medically clear is Step 1. Is the animal UTD on vaccines, neutered, and have you spoken to a qualified vet about any behavioral issues and medications that may help?
(If you are unable to afford vetting, please contact us and we will do our best to advise - please consider vet expenses prior to adopting an animal.)
For example - if an animal is being owner surrendered for urinating in the house, has the animal been cleared for a bladder infection, bladder stones, and is the animal fixed? If the animal is being surrendered for behavioral problems, is the animal getting enough exercise - could a dog walking service help? Could food puzzle toys and games help mentally stimulate a dog which can be just as important as physical exercise!
Step 2 is consulting a qualified trainer.
Surrendered animals must come with a consultation with Kristie Swan, BAA CPDT-KA, KPA-CPT at A Dog’s Life GR at the expense of the current owner. https://www.adogslifegr.com/private-lessons. Sessions are usually $75 + travel expenses.
Training can often help stop the reason for the surrender - which will keep animals in their homes with the current owner.
People lie. Sometimes on purpose. Sometimes not on purpose. Sorry not sorry for the bluntness and we realize it’s harsh but - facts are facts - and we have seen it ALL. Once we had someone tell us their dog was neutered - when we got there, definitely NOT neutered. We need a third party assessment to ensure truth and ensure we are getting accurate information.
We need an honest assessment of what we are considering taking on. If the dog is honestly aggressive and a safety risk, we should be considering behavior euthanasia not surrender. If the dog is honestly NOT aggressive, we want to rule out environmental factors or abuse.
A trainer can assist with advice on what kind of home a dog will succeed in. Does a dog need to be the only pet? Does a dog need a home with no kids, no cats, a fenced in yard, etc. This assessment can also help us determine a proper foster home for the animal.
If after a consult with a trainer we determine that it’s in the dog’s best interest to be put into a different home, we can consider proceeding with the owner surrender. Even then, it’s not a guarantee we are able to take on a surrender as we are limited by if we have an open foster home, if we have the budget to take on an additional animal, etc.
On a case by case basis owner surrenders are charged a $150/fee which covers an assessment at our vet of an animal’s health.