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Surrendering A Pet

It is very hard for pets who are surrendered by their owners to adjust to a shelter environment.

The comfort of home is all they’ve ever known, so they often become depressed and can even become aggressive. For the well being of your pet, surrendering him or her to a shelter should be an absolute last resort.

Because we are almost always at capacity, we ask that you put forth every possible effort to find a home for your pet. Contacting rescue groups, friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members may be options if you can no longer keep or care for your pet.

Getting a pet you cannot keep into a rescue is always a better alternative to surrendering them to a shelter. Most rescues keep pets in a foster home until they can be placed permanently so they don’t have to deal with the stressful environment of living in a kennel or risk exposure to illness or disease that is unavoidable in an animal shelter.

PAWS Humane Center only accepts pets surrendered (Owner Surrender) from residents of Dearborn County, Indiana. If you would like to surrender your pet, we ask that you contact us at (812) 577-0829 to make arrangements, as an appointment is required. Be sure to come prepared with vaccination records to help expedite the processing of your pet. Persons who surrender their owned animals to the PAWS

Humane Center are asked to pay:

For each dog it is $40.00

For each cat it is $40.00

For a litter of puppies or kittens – $60.00 plus $40 for an adult cat/dog

Things to Consider BEFORE You Surrender

Pets who are surrendered are more susceptible to illness and depression. They grieve the loss of their families and often stop eating or contract an upper respiratory infection. Senior pets are in the most danger of falling ill or giving up. And while we will most certainly treat them for any illness they contract, whether or not they overcome it is often up to the state of their emotional well-being.

Below are some possible resources, alternatives and points to consider before you surrender your pet:

Behavior concerns:

  • Dogs who are suddenly reactive or even aggressive to other dogs or cats in the home or in public
  • Separation anxiety
  • Basic obedience challenges (house and crate training, jumping up on people, marking, leash manners—too hard to walk)
  • Excessive barking
  • Fearful of new people/strangers
  • Dominance over children, adults or other pets in the home
  • Jealousy
  • Cats urinating outside the litter box/marking

Allergies – While it is not uncommon for an individual to be allergic to cats and dogs, they are not always the culprit when it comes to irritated eyes, sinuses and itchy skin. Every spring and summer when the pollen count begins to rise, we see an influx of animals surrendered due to allergies. We find many pet owners automatically jump to the conclusion that pets are to blame for allergies without doing the proper testing or considering seasonal allergies. A simple blood test can determine if you are allergic to pet dander. We encourage you to take that step before assuming the pet you’ve lived with for all these years is now the cause of your sniffles. Here are some additional pointers on how to help control pet related allergies:

New baby – We are constantly amazed by the number of dogs and cats who are surrendered not only when the new baby arrives, but sometimes when they get the news! For many couples, they assume a baby cannot safely co-exist with a pet. Not so! While there are certainly dogs, and cats for that matter, who would not be appropriate for young children, we urge you to speak with us regarding your pet’s temperament so we can help you determine if they would be suitable and how to do a proper introduction.

We’re moving – Your pet is depending on you to take him or her with you every single time life takes you in a new direction. In fact, their lives depend on it. Surrendering your pet, especially an older one, is very hard on them both physically and emotionally. There are countless options for rental properties that allow pets, and those who have no breed or size restrictions. And while there may be some pet rent or a deposit to pay, isn’t that part of the lifelong commitment you made to your loyal companion? The price they may end up paying is far greater. Please, before you sign a lease, make sure you have confirmed that your pet is welcome too.

I don’t have enough time – “I’m traveling more with my job.” “I’m so busy with the kids.” “It’s just not fair to our dog to leave him at home for 10 hours a day.” “He’ll be so much better off here at the shelter than alone at home.” Trust me, if your dog could talk, he would say, “I DON’T MIND BEING AT HOME FOR 10 HOURS! Please don’t leave me here!” Think about it. As long as your dog is getting companionship after your work day, they are loved and getting the care they need, why in the world would they be better off sitting in a shelter where they will get depressed, and may wait months for a home? If you’re traveling or busy with the kids, what about a doggy daycare facility or an in-home pet sitter? If you really want to keep your pet, there is a way. We are here to help you find the best possible solution

Featured Pets


3 years old, Boxer Mix,male neutered.  Chip is full of energy and is looking for a family to match his energy level.  He loves to curl up in a blanket with a Nylabone.  He would prefer to be your one and only.  A game of tug of war would be a fun game to play with him.  Chip is house trained and ready to find his furever family.

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2 years old, Domestic Short Hair Brown Tabby and White, female spayed.  Plum would like to be your one and only princess. She enjoys sitting on her shelf looking out the window. This big girl would love to have a quiet home.  If you think Plum is the girl for you, stop down and check her out!

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3 months old, Domestic Short Hair Black, female spayed.  Cheetos is a playful kitten that loves playing and taking naps with her sister Doritos. She enjoys climbing the cat tree in her room. Cat toys with bells gets her excited to play. If you have a spot in your home for this loving kitten come down and check her out!

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