Pet Connections

Surrendering your pet

Over the past few months we’ve received numerous emails and phone calls from people who need to surrender their pet. The reasons range from “too many animals” to heartbreaking tragedies, but the end result is the same: as an Open Door Shelter, the Animal Rescue League turns no animals away.

A few years ago, we started talking to owners who were surrendering their pets because we wanted to see if there was anything that we could do to help keep pets in their homes. In many cases, we have been able to provide some assistance with behavior consultations, medical treatment or other services that will allow the placement to be preserved. In cases where this is not possible, we open our doors and try to find homes for the animals in our care. If there is a chance that we can help you keep your pet, ask to see if there are any options before surrendering. Often the solution is much simpler than you might realize.

We know that often the decision to surrender is a difficult one for the owner. At intake, when we ask questions about your pet, it’s not to judge, but rather to obtain information so we can determine the best options for your pet. As an Open Door Shelter, the Animal Rescue League does humanely euthanize animals. We do not euthanize animals on a pre-set time limit or for space, rather the decision is based on an evaluation of the pet’s individual-health and temperament. We cannot adopt out animals that have a bite history or a history of aggression toward other animals or to humans.

The warmer months of late spring and summer are our busiest time. Our intake numbers skyrocket, largely due to the explosion of unwanted litters of cats and kittens. We average 30 surrenders a day in June, July and August, and the message to spay and neuter your pets, especially cats, cannot be repeated often enough!
If you have multiples and can keep any of them, it can help. Alternatively, if you can make more than one trip to the shelter, bringing only a few cats at a time over the course of a few days or weeks that can help also.

The resources of the ARL are limited, and if you can pay it forward by giving a donation at the time of surrender, or by volunteering to foster or to help at the shelter, you can help us continue to come to the rescue of the animals that we have served for over 100 years.


December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023


December 14, 2023