Helping Animals Since 1977

Surrendering Your Pet

Surrendering a pet is a big decision. Animalert asks that you consider the following:

If your pet was purchased from a breeder, or adopted from another rescue contact them before you contact our rescue. A responsible breeder or rescue will want to know if one of his/her animals is in need of assistance and will want to help. In addition, many contracts have a ‘right of first refusal’ clause in them, stating that should you no longer be able to keep the pet for any reason, the breeder or rescue will take the animal back.

Due to limited resources, we are not able to help with all surrendered animals. Animalert reserves the right to refuse any dog or cat into our program for any reason.

Please remember that Animalert is run by volunteers, out of our homes. We do not have a shelter or kennel facility. We are involved in rescue because we love dogs and cats. However, we also have homes/families, jobs, travel, other hobbies/activities etc. We work our rescue activities around our busy schedules, so please be realistic about timelines for returning calls or emails.

What to expect when surrendering a dog to Animalert:

  1. First, please fill out the Canine Surrender Request Form, it will be submitted to our volunteer intake coordinator who will get back to you within a few days. Please be truthful and honest, the more we know about your dog the better we will be able to place your dog in a suitable foster home.NOTE: Your dog should be social and non-aggressive.
  2. Afterwards you will be required to fill out and sign our Surrender Release Form. It is important to be completely honest when answering all questions about your dog. If your pet has issues of any sort, we must be made aware of them. Accurate information will give your pet the best possible chance of successful transition into a new home.
  3. Animalert will also require vet records from your pet’s veterinarian. The medical history is important. We will need to continue any ongoing treatment he/she requires and will need to inform potential new owners about any pre-existing medical conditions. Please be sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations.
  4. Although Animalert tries to foster most pets before allowing them to be adopted out through our program, this is not always possible. Foster homes are the hardest things for most rescue groups to come by and Animalert is no different. Therefore, please be aware that it may be necessary for you to keep your pet until a suitable home can be found or other arrangements made.
  5. Finally, should you decide to place your pet on your own, please be responsible and have it spayed/neutered before it leaves your care. You should also conduct a home visit and check vet references before placing your pet. We certainly would!

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Looking to surrender your cat?

Reach out to us and we'll be happy to provide details on how we might be able to help.

SafePet Ontario Program

If life at home is changing because of domestic and/or intimate partner violence, Animalert wants to help you. Don’t let the threat of losing your dogs or cats stop you from getting to safety.


Learn more about the SafePet Program on our About page.