What to do if I need to surrender my pet?

You have a number of choices, and just one of them is surrendering your pet to CARA. If you have exhausted alternatives to relinquishment, here is how our admissions process works.

What should I expect?

CARA Admissions staff assess the amount of space available in the shelter as animals find homes through the Adoption center. We will accept the surrender of owned cats and dogs based on the number of adoptions and available cages/kennels. If we have space available in our shelter, we will call and schedule an appointment with you. Each appointment takes approximately 30 minutes.    

What do I do when I arrive?

  • We will verify rabies vaccinations with the vet who gave the vaccine. Please bring the rabies certificate with you.
  • For cats, we will verify your cat has been recently tested for feline AIDS and Leukemia.
  • For dogs over 7 months of age, we will verify they have been tested for heartworms with the vet who did the test. Please bring the paper documentation showing the test has been done with you.
  • The temperament of your pet will be evaluated by our staff.

Once your pet has been screened, and IF CARA decides to accept your pet, your surrender fee will be collected.  An appointment for screening does not guarantee that CARA will accept your pet.

What do I do if I need to surrender my pet today?

If you opt not to wait for space to become available at CARA, you may want to consider other options:

  • Find a new home for the pet yourself with friends, neighbors, family or co-workers.
  • Place your pet temporarily with friends, family or possibly a boarding facility until space becomes available at a local shelter.
  • Surrender your pet to your county or city animal control. Agencies may vary, so please ask them about their adoption practices and their policies surrounding the surrender of owned pets. A shelter should be your last resort.