Surrendering A Pet

Saving Grace understands that pet owners have many reasons why they cannot keep their pets. We also believe in lifelong commitments to companion animals, and understand the heartache that is felt when you have to give up a pet.

We strongly encourage pet owners to seek help in finding solutions to common issues, such as behavior problems, veterinary needs or house training as soon as the problem is discovered. Don’t know where to start? Just ask, and we will do our best to get you pointed in the right direction!

 Re-Homing Your Pet

If circumstances require you to give up your pet, please first consider finding a new home for your pet on your own. Re-homing your pet will take time, patience and effort. However, your pet will be happier during the transition, and you have the added benefit of choosing his new family.  Make sure that you know who your pet will be going to – don’t be afraid to do your research! is a terrific resource that gives you access to list your pet on a website shelters use to market our pets. When a prospective family searches Rehome, your pet's profile will appear alongside other adoptable pets who fit the search criteria.This could potentially reach someone from out of the area who is looking for your kind of pet!

Please consider these tips:

  • Get your pet spayed or neutered.
  • Make a list of your pet's traits. Brainstorm your pet’s appearance, personality and behavior. Do include the good and the bad. This will help you develop a short biography for your pet to give to potential adopters. Be honest so the person giving a home to your animal will know what to expect.
  • Take photos of your animal. Use the photos to make fliers to post at pet supply stores, veterinary clinics, places of worship, work bulletin boards, online bulletin boards, e-mails and in newsletters. Be sure to alert family and friends so they can tell the people in their community about your pet needing a new home.
  • Many websites offer free services for you to post info about your pet, such as Craigslist, facebook, or If the animal is a purebred, you may be able to seek help from a breed rescue groups such as the ones listed on
  • Use caution when listing the pet for free. Unfortunately there are people who acquire animals to resell them to research laboratories or place them in illegal dog fighting rings or other abusive situations. By asking the adopter for re-homing fee (even if it is a small donation to your local shelter), you help to ensure that the person who is adopting your pet has his best interest at heart and can financially provide for your pet.
  • Interview potential adopters. You want to make sure that the people adopting your pet are a good fit. Ask them about their past pets and how they will take care of your pet.
  • Be patient and stay realistic. Older animals, sick animals, and those who have medical conditions or behavioral problems can be hard to place. Keep in mind that the very problem that is causing you to give up your pet may be the same reason someone else is reluctant to adopt her.


 When a new home is not the solution

Sad as it is, there are times when medical conditions or behavioral problems cannot be resolved and you may want to discuss humane euthanasia with your veterinarian.

 Bringing your pet to Saving Grace

Please note that Saving Grace is only able to accept pets from residents of Douglas County.

Be aware that a shelter is a unique setting for any animal. Ask yourself: how does my pet interact with strangers? Does she allow people to hold her, touch her, or examine her ears, mouth or body without biting? Is my pet extremely timid and terrified by strange noises and strange people?  Remember, shelter staff, volunteers and potential adopters are all strangers to your pet! Though your pet may still be able to become a much-loved member of a new family, a shelter may not be a suitable means for finding this new family.

If you do bring your pet to the shelter, please fill out our Owner Surrender package as accurately and completely as possible. Honest answers are important and will help to ensure that your pet is placed in the most appropriate home possible. Undesirable behaviors & medical issues do not necessarily create problems. However, not disclosing those problems definitely does! Dishonest, misleading or incomplete responses can undermine the safety and happiness of both your pet and their new adopting family. If any questions are unclear or you are uncomfortable responding for any reason, please ask to speak directly to one of our helpful team members about the issue.

Dog Owner Surrender Questionnaire

Cat Owner Surrender Questionnaire

Small Animal Owner Surrender Questionnaire

Please bring along any documents, vet records or unneeded supplies for your pet.

Once you have relinquished ownership of your pet, our team will evaluate his or her health and temperament. Healthy pets who pass our behavioral evaluation may be approved for adoption right away. Pets needing further veterinary care, who are too young or need a little socialization may be placed into foster care first. When our shelter is close to capacity, which is quite often, our evaluations become more stringent.

Adoptable pets who maintain good physical and emotional health are allowed to stay until they are adopted. We do not have a time-limit in our adoption areas. Our team evaluates each animal’s well-being on a daily basis. Some pets cope with the stress of being sheltered for only a few days while others can stay in our shelter for several months.

Pets that do not pass our health or behavioral evaluations, or show increasing symptoms of “kennel stress” are humanely euthanized by our caring staff.

Effective July 1, 2015

Due to budget cuts in our contract with Douglas County, Saving Grace began charging an intake fee on all owner surrendered animals and on stray cats effective July 1, 2015.

Owner Surrender Dogs (6 months and over)   $30 Altered / $50 Unaltered

Owner Surrender Puppies (under 6 months)   No charge

Owner Surrender Cats   $10 Altered / $20 Unaltered

Stray Cats   $10

Kittens (under 4 months)   $15 Litter of 1-3 / $20 Litter of 4 & up

Rabbits   $10 Altered / $20 Unaltered

Ferrets / Chinchillas / Rats / Hamsters / Gerbils   $10 each / $15 pair

Guinea Pigs   $15

Parakeets / Lovebirds / Cockatiels / Finches   $20 / $35 Pair


For owner-surrendered pets: At the time of surrender, you may request to be notified if your pet is not going to be made available for adoption. If notification is requested, you will be given an opportunity to retrieve your pet.

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Are you ready for a challenge? Become a Lion Tamer! Foster parents are needed to turn little lions into purring kittens. Apply here.

Looking for a specific type of pet? Want to receive an email alert when matching pets become available? Check out!

Thinking of surrendering your pet? Get your questions answered on our Surrendering a Pet page. And try re-homing your pet to a new family without the shelter! Great advice to walk you through the process, plus your pet's profile will be included in listings!