Surrendering Your Pet

Surrendering Your Pet

Once in a while, due to circumstances beyond their control, a pet owner may become unable to care for their pet. Perhaps they became gravely ill or injured. Perhaps their child developed asthma. Perhaps the owner was having serious, long-term financial problems. It is for situations like these that animal shelters exist — to help care for pets and find them new loving homes if their owner becomes truly unable to care for them.

You might still be able to keep your pet!

Fortunately, many people who think they must give up their pet do not have to!

If you love your pet and want to keep him or her, we will do what we can to assist you. If you are giving up your pet for one of the following reasons, STOP! Let us help you keep your pet!

It is absolutely possible to move across town or to another state while keeping your pet as part of your family.

Click here for tips on moving with your pet. Click here for assistance in finding pet-friendly housing.

If the reason why you are giving up your pet is because you have a family emergency or you must go out of town suddenly, ask a friend or family member if they can care for your pet until you are able to return. Also, there are lots of reasonably-priced boarding kennels that can be found on the Internet or in the phone book.
“He is not housetrained.”
“He is destructive.”
“He scratches the furniture.”
“He is too hyper.”
“We’re having a baby.”

The Humane Society of Greater Miami works closely with professional trainers specializing in behavior modification. These trainers hold workshops to help dog owners solve many of the basic obedience issues mentioned above. For more information visit Canine Counselors or call 305-264-0027.

Contact your physician to learn about some of the many effective pet allergy medications on the market. Click here for tips on pets and allergies.


Finding a responsible home for your pet.

If you ultimately decide that you cannot keep your pet, you have several options.

First, do your very best to find him a home yourself. Just as it was your responsibility to feed, train, and care for your pet, it is also your responsibility to find a home for your pet if you can no longer keep him. A “good” home means a home where the animal will live for the rest of his or her life, where he or she will receive attention, veterinary care, proper nutrition, and be treated as part of the family. Finding a good home for a pet may take some time, but it is possible. Here are some tips:

  • Ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family members, anyone you know that loves animals, if they would be able to care for your pet.
  • Make a “resume” for your pet that tells your pet’s age, size, breed, personality traits, if he or she has lived with other animals or kids, etc. Be sure to include a photograph! Post your pet’s resume where allowed around your neighborhood, in pet supply stores, grocery stores, laundromats, social media, etc.
  • Don’t advertise your pet as “free to a good home.” Individuals known as “bunchers” routinely answer “free-to-good-home” ads, posing as people who want family pets when, in actuality, they may sell pets to research laboratories and puppy mills. Dogfighters have also been known to obtain domestic animals for baiting through “free to good home” ads. These people are “professionals” who may even bring children or their mothers with them when picking up pets. Asking for a small adoption fee will help discourage people with bad intentions. Always be mindful of your own safety when you go to interview potential adopters or if you allow a prospective adopter to enter your home.
  • Ask for a valid form of identification (preferably a driver’s license). Record the number for your records and require the new owner to sign a contract stating the requirements of adoption upon which both parties agree.
  • Have your pet neutered or spayed before he or she goes to the new home. This will make the animal more adoptable and help stop irresponsible breeding. Click here for information about our clinic services. 
  • If your pet is a purebred, there may be a breed-specific rescue organization in your area that will accept him and work to find him a new home. Breed-specific rescue groups are usually run by people with in-depth knowledge of a specific breed and they keep adoptable animals until they can be placed in loving, permanent homes. To locate a rescue group that specializes in your pet’s breed, search the Internet or check the classifieds section of the newspaper. Do not be afraid to ask questions.


If You Can’t Find a Good Home for Your Pet and Need to Take Him or Her to a Shelter

The Humane Society of Greater Miami has limited space available to accept new pets for adoption. Therefore, it is extremely important that you do your best to find your pet a home yourself. If you have tried all of the above suggestions and you are still unable to find your pet a home, you may bring your pet to our Soffer and Fine Adoption Center in North Miami Beach to see if we are able to accept him for adoption.

Important Information on Animal Intake:

Dog and cat surrenders are accepted on a space-available basis.

  • Walk-in ONLY everyday from 9:00am – 4:00pm
    • We recommend calling the shelter at 305-696-0800 prior to bringing in your pet to ensure intake is open – it changes on a day to day basis and may close without notice.
  • Wait times may vary
  • The pet MUST pass a health and temperament test before being admitted to our shelter, which takes approximately 30 minutes per animal.
  • A $25 donation is requested, but not required, upon surrender to help with the costs of caring for the pet

You may also consider the below locations for surrendering your pet:

Miami-Dade Animal Services
3599 NW 79th Ave
Doral, FL 33122

Humane Society of Broward County
2070 Griffin Road
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312

Broward County Animal Care and Regulations
1870 SW 39 Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
3100-3200 N Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Palm Beach Animal Care and Control
7100 Belvedere Road
Palm Beach, FL 333411

Finding a quality home for your pet can be a difficult and time-consuming process. The more time and effort you devote to finding a good home for your pet, the better your chances for finding one. Good luck!

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